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Article originally published Spring 2024 in The Monitor magazine.

A Second Chance 

It’s been more than two years since Ron Brame entered the fight for his life. As a then-61-year-old man with no known history of cardiac disease, a heart attack was the last thing on Ron’s mind as he battled COVID-19. But when he began feeling severely unwell on Oct. 13, 2021, he knew he needed medical attention.

Ron Brame - QuoteAs they traveled from their home in New Lexington to Fairfield Medical Center, Ron instructed his wife, Martha Brame, to run the red lights. The couple pulled directly into the ambulance bay of FMC’s Emergency Department and jumped from their car. They were met by an FMC police officer who grabbed a wheelchair and rushed Ron through the paramedic entrance. This dramatic arrival would mark the beginning of a months-long rollercoaster for all involved.

Through weeks of setbacks and complications – including two cardiac arrests, emergency surgeries, pneumonia, and poorly functioning kidneys – Ron’s care team and family persevered. When Ron finally found himself on the road to recovery and started cardiac rehabilitation to reclaim his strength, stamina and stability, he set forth with the same grit and determination as those who saved his life.

“I wasn’t going to let myself wallow and give up,” Ron said. “I knew that if I wanted to get back to doing the things I love, if I wanted to get back to fishing trips and hunting and to be there for my family, I needed to put in the work.”

For Ron, returning to health was also an important way to honor his care team. He made it his mission to return to FMC and thank the multitude of healthcare professionals who gave him a second – and third – chance at life. “I was sick during a time when people in healthcare were seeing a lot of loss,” Ron said of the pandemic. “They worked so hard to keep me alive, and I know they provide that same level of care to everyone. I just wanted to let them know I think the world of them, and the work they do matters.”

Little by little, life has returned to normal, but Ron still carries his experience with him wherever he goes. He is reminded of it when he sees his surgical scar or finds himself being mindful of physically demanding tasks. Most of all, his story comes to life every time he walks through the doors of FMC.

“There is always someone there who remembers me,” Ron said. “I might not remember their face or their name, but I will always give them a hug and thank them. This place cares like no one else can. Without Fairfield Medical Center, I wouldn’t be here today.”

See below for a timeline of Ron’s care.

Learn more about FHP Cardiology and Fairfield Medical Center’s Heart & Vascular Services.