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LVHN Surprises Lehigh Valley Man With U.S. Senior Open Passes to Celebrate Recovery From Near-Fatal Golf Course Heart Attack

North Catasauqua’s Rick Henrick’s heart stopped at Brookside Country Club on Sept. 15, 2021

Rick Henrick got the mulligan of a lifetime at Brookside Country Club last fall, but it had nothing to do with a second chance after a bad golf shot.

He got a do-over at life.

From the automated external defibrillator at the club, to the quick response from club employees and the nearby Macungie Ambulance Corps to expert care at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, everything aligned in Henrick’s favor.

After cutting his round short last Sept. 15 because he wasn’t feeling well, his heart stopped in the club’s parking lot when a “widow-maker” heart attack struck. Henrick’s left anterior descending artery was totally blocked, which caused his cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest caused by a heart attack involving this blood vessel is commonly referred to as a “widow-maker” because of the high mortality rate, especially in cardiac arrest that occurs outside the hospital.

Though the survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is less than 10%, Henrick was lucky. Like a tee shot that bounces off a tree back onto the fairway, good fortune was with him that day.

The active 66-year-old trucking company sales director from North Catasauqua is back at work, back on the course and back to living life.

On Wednesday, June 1, at Brookside, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) celebrated Henrick’s recovery with a surprise connected to the 42nd U.S. Senior Open Championship, coming up later this month at Saucon Valley Country Club.

Henrick received two passes to the 19th Hole festival area at the championship on June 21, the first day the public can attend the event. June 21 and 22 are slated for practice rounds for the pros. The pass includes gallery access to the course. He also received a chance to play Saucon Valley’s Weyhill Course that day with three other golfers of his choosing. The U.S. Senior Open Championship will be played on Saucon Valley’s Old Course.

LVHN is the presenting sponsor of the 19th Hole, and Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital is sponsoring the Junior Experience Tent.

Shailendra Singh, MD, Co-Director of Interventional Vascular Cardiology at Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute, said acutely critical cases such as Henrick’s are always a team effort, with everyone doing their part to save a life.

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