Mike Conner back among the living

Mike Conner, not much the worse for wear, from his hospital bed in KnoxvilleMike Conner, bass player with the Country Gentlemen Tribute Band, is scheduled to be released from the hospital today in Knoxville after a long week flirting with disaster.

Conner suffered a ventricle fibrillation on Saturday, October 30, causing his heart to stop for several minutes until paramedics arrived to shock him back into rhythm. Fortunately his wife, Annette, and good friend, John Miller, saw Mike fall and were able to immediately begin CPR, which they maintained for 12-15 minutes until an ambulance could get to the scene.

A trained nurse, Annette had only recently been requalified in CPR and understood that effective resuscitation precludes the light touch. She broke two of his ribs during the time she was keeping him alive, but Mike will take that and more, recognizing that she saved his life.

The first few days of his hospitalization were quite tense. Connor had been placed into an induced coma, fearing brain damage, and brought out a couple of times to see if he was responsive. After four days, he was weaned from the ventilator and had a defibrillator implanted in his heart to prevent this recurring. At the end of a week he was eating on his own, walking with assistance, and talking with no loss of brain function.

We got in touch with Mike on Saturday, and he reports that he lost about four days of memory surrounding the incident, but all of his other memory is intact. As is his sense of humor, which seems to have served him well through this ordeal.

He offers all credit for his miraculous recovery to a higher power (9 out of 10 people who suffer a ventricular fibrillation do not survive), but the voice that he recalls from this ordeal is that of Fox Sports commentator, Joe Buck.

“Well on the night when a lot of people witnessed a sports miracle of sorts, a small group of people here in Knoxville witnessed a different one. They were bringing me out of a cold and drug and induced coma in cardiac ICU. I remember hearing one of the cardiac specialty nurses saying, ‘hey man, you gotta wake up its Game 7!’ So while the miracle happened in Cleveland, another one happened for me and my wife, family, and friends.”

He was also treated for a nice bump on the head, and for a bout of pneumonia probably linked to the successful CPR.

And through his hospitalization, one of Mike’s chief concerns was getting out in time to vote tomorrow. If the doctors will clear him to travel bak to Roanoke, he just might make it.

What a marvelous story of faith, and medical expertise and technology. A lovely, happy ending for all involved.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.