Robert's Story

My name is Robert Coucher.

I am alive today because of the amazing Emergency Department at Palomar Medical Center Poway, and I would love to share my story with you.

For the past thirty-five years, I’ve been working in the fast-paced, high-pressure world of technology development. I love what I do and I am passionate about my profession, which has taken me on extensive travels around the US, Asia, and Europe. Although I get to visit many exotic places, my heart is always dear and near to my children and grandchild.

My story began just like any ordinary Sunday morning. On August 25, 2019, my lovely wife Gigi and I had just returned home after spending a few days on our yacht in the San Diego Bay. I was unloading the car when I began to feel out of breath. I was puzzled for a moment but didn’t really give it a lot of thought. However, within minutes, I began to feel a strong burning pain in my left arm, neck and jaw. This is when I realized I was having a heart attack.

I immediately called 911 and an ambulance came right away to take me to the hospital. I was alert and conversing with the paramedics throughout the ambulance ride but then just as we arrived at the hospital, my heart suddenly stopped beating. I was rushed into the emergency room and was immediately seen by Bret Ginther MD, and Allan Hansen MD, who would work urgently to bring me back to life. I had no pulse for the next thirty-two minutes. 

The doctors along with the medical staff proceeded to apply high-level CPR, and while this was happening my wife repeatedly cried out to me, “This is not the time for you to leave – come back!” I had reached 30 minutes of CPR, and the likelihood of regaining consciousness - let alone a full recovery - is miniscule. But I am very grateful that the doctors did not give up! They administered a life-saving procedure called fibrinolytic therapy, also known as a "clot buster.”  

My story is one of many. Every single day, the incredible medical staff at Palomar Health gets to perform these heroic, life-saving procedures to patients in need. 

I am sharing my story with you in hopes that you will help others have a second chance at life. Each year, thousands of people from the greater San Diego area come to the Emergency Department at Palomar Medical Center Poway, seeking critical lifesaving treatment like mine. They provide our community with around-the-clock, first class care. Philanthropic gifts like yours help the Emergency Department continue to thrive.

I invite you to send your gift of any amount to Palomar Health Foundation to support the most urgent necessities of the Emergency Department at Palomar Medical Center Poway. To learn more about my story, please call Alex Arana, Philanthropy Manager at Palomar Health Foundation, at 760-739-2961. You may also give a gift online here.

Warm Regards,
Robert Coucher

P.S. Remarkably, throughout this entire incident I somehow managed to survive with no apparent serious physical or mental impairment and should be able to, over time, return to the active lifestyle that I enjoyed. I am grateful for the excellence at Palomar Health and I warmly ask you to consider making a gift in support of this fine organization. Thank you for allowing me to share my story!

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