One Moment in Time: Heart Attack!

By Sharon Brown (Sharon) on July 31, 2010

Sometimes a week lasts all seven days. Sometimes it seems to drag on and on forever. But sometimes, the week and all that was in it can be gone in the blink of an eye. For Frank and Jackie Muncy, this was a week for a miracle. Perhaps if we know of it, it could provide a similar miracle in our own lives.

You might know her as Kiska, or perhaps you know her as Kaglic, but to her friends and her husband Frank, Jackie Muncy is SuperWoman. On July 25, less than a week ago, Frank had a heart attack. Let's read Jackie's notes to us and follow the progression of a miracle:


July 272010-07-31/Sharran/011b22

Sunday evening (July 25) my husband had a heart attack, at home. We are still at the hospital in Palmer/Wasilla. He's doing well, no heart damage and he is making a good recovery. The heart-cath test is scheduled for sometime today. My family and friends have been wonderful.

Will keep you posted.

***We did not know at the time how very serious Frank's heart attack was, nor did we know the role that Jackie played to keep him alive. Only now do we realize what happened.


July 28

Update: sometime today the stint will be placed and we'll spend one more night here. He's doing well. Susan and family are in the air and will be here later this morning. It's now 7 a.m. here, my support and oldest daughter, Carol, will be here at 8. My son and family have done so much for us already. The kids have been more than awesome. Again, thanks to you all for the support. 

2010-07-31/Sharran/506d64Thanks, cubits friends, what a wonderul group here.


July 29

We got home about 5 p.m. this evening; it's great that Susan and family are here, visiting from WA for the month, and had the coffee and dinner ready. They were scheduled to come on the 1st, but changed tickets and flew up on Wednesday. Frank had one stint, and a heart moniter inserted under the skin. He's ok, just really tired and will be fine once he regains his strength.

Tomorrow there will be an article in the Anchorage Daily News, (, Mat-Su section, about the incident. There is just a 5-6% survival rate under the circumstances that we had; I've learned who the 911 operator was and she will recieve an award for her "over the phone compression cpr", to me, who knew no cpr.

A few day's of catching up on rest will do wonders. Thanks so much for the caring thoughts and prayers. You're a w2010-07-31/Sharran/738f3bonderful group to know.

July 30

He was "gone"; the enormity is just now sinking in.

July 31

He is doing well; thank you so much. It's beginning to sink in just what a miracle it was

July 31

(A comment from a Cubit friend...) There was a segment on TV just the other day about compression only CPR. And they said it's much more effective because it circulates the oxygen that's already in the blood, and that you have about 6 minutes worth of oxygen in your system. But they also said it's a LOT of work to do it right! They said that after one minute the person doing the compression will have sweat running down his face. 

(Jackie's response...) We are now seeing and learning more about compression only cpr, too. It really worked in our case. It was tiring, but it was also very cool outdoors, where this occurred. I don't recall sweating.

*** Here is the newspaper article, and if that link should be broken, here is a synopsis of what was reported:2010-07-31/Sharran/aeee9b

From Frank:

"She's my rock," the grandfather of nine said. "She came through. She's a good wife and a good mother and a good grandmother, and she probably never thought she'd be able to do something like this."

The Muncys learned later that the survival rate for heart attack victims is only about 6 percent. Jackie Muncy said that if she had known that when she called 911, she probably wouldn't have been so calm.

"I didn't realize the severity of it at the time, I'll tell the truth," she admitted. "After awhile, he turned pasty white and his lips were blue, so I knew he was in bad shape."

Frank Muncy had not experienced any health issues before, so the last thing the couple expected was a heart attack, his wife said, adding that he was never a smoker or drinker and wasn't too much overweight.

So when her husband told her Sunday night his feet were "on fire" and that his hands felt like they were "stinging metal" and he went out into the cool night air on their porch in only his undershorts, she didn't know what to think.

"Right after he said he was feeling better, he passed out and fell backward onto the porch," she recalled. "I grabbed a blanket and pillow for him and he was beginning to come around and told me he should go to the hospital. So I was trying to help him stand up when I felt something change in his demeanor -- there was an extraordinary stillness in him. So I laid him back down and tried to get a response, but nothing."

***An emergency call was made then, and Jackie quickly learned a new procedure (Continuous Compression CPR) from the dis2010-07-31/Sharran/bf7e52patcher while she waited for the medical team to get to her home. The Muncys found out later that Frank's right coronary artery was 70 to 80 percent blocked. Doctors installed a stint in the artery to keep it open.

I thought the Muncy's story was important enough to share with you. According to the American Heart Association, coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the United States; and, in adults, heart attacks cause 1 out of every 5 deaths. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) more than 1.2 million heart attacks occur each year in the United States and about 460,000 of these are fatal. Approximately 300,000 people die annually from heart attacks before they can receive medical treatment.

Here are tips from the dispatcher in Palmer, Alaska where Frank and Jackie live. The tips are listed in the newspaper article:

Here's what to do for increasing the chances of survival during a medical emergency:

• Call 911 only if there is an actual emergency. Palmer's main command center got more than 30,000 911 calls last year, a large portion of them for non-emergencies, tieing up the line, said dispatch supervisor Rebecca Frey.

• Keep clear directions to your house next to your phone.

• Learn basic CPR and first aid, but let dispatchers walk you through procedures even if you think you know the steps.

• Try to remain calm, but be aware every second counts.

• If more than one person is there, one person should give help while another holds the phone and relays instructions.

• Although the impulse is to first make the patient comfortable with pillows, having him or her flat on the floor is better, especially if CPR is given.

***Today from Jackie:

Thank you all for being my support and caring friends.

Now that it's over and we are beginning to go over the events in more detail; we were very fortunate. Tomorrow we are going to visit our EMT neighbors ~ next week we will meet the 911 operator and dispatchers.

***Isn't it amazing to hear of a miracle first hand, and isn't it comforting that what we learn from that miracle might serve us well someday? Jackie followed the procedure as told to her by the dispatcher on the phone. With the help of the dispatcher, Jackie saved Frank's life.

Jackie, our hearts and our good wishes are with you and Frank. Thank you for sharing your week with us. I hope this new week will 2010-07-31/Sharran/c7bc13be one of peace and rest for you. I know it will be one of thanksgiving. 

*Continuous Chest Compression is often referred to as CCC. 

*American Heart Association endorses Chest compression only CPR:

*Mayo Clinic presentation:


Please feel free to use the following comment threads to let Frank and Jackie know how much we appreciate their story. You will remember Jackie from her Spotlight article here. We wish you well, my friends. 

Related articles:
Continuous Chest Compression, CPR, Heart attack, heart attacks

About Sharon Brown
I am a retired art and humanities teacher. I am an artist and I am also a writer who has written a series of articles about the history and medicinal value of Kentucky wildflowers. The articles tell of growing up in the mountains of southeast Kentucky with my great Aunt Bett and Granny Ninna. I currently live in western KY.

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
oh wow~ kaglic Feb 21, 2012 12:27 PM 2
Thanks Sharon kaglic Aug 30, 2010 1:26 PM 15
Thank you pajonica Aug 7, 2010 8:04 PM 1
Women and Heart Attacks TwinLakesChef Aug 6, 2010 8:42 PM 21
This link was posted today... gemini_sage Aug 1, 2010 5:40 PM 1
Thank you starlight1153 Aug 1, 2010 5:33 PM 2
Thank you for the article. PollyK Jul 31, 2010 9:26 PM 2
Fantastic News! Petalpants Jul 31, 2010 9:10 PM 1
Untitled nap Jul 31, 2010 9:07 PM 4
A Lesson For Us All! Trisha_S Jul 31, 2010 9:01 PM 1
Wonderful news! threegardeners Jul 31, 2010 8:56 PM 1

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