Miracle Meaux's Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survival
On Valentine’s Day February 14, 2017, after suffering a Sudden Cardiac Arrest on an elevator, Maurice Trosclair was the recipient of an incredibly miraculous and successful “chain of survival.” Bystander CPR and on-location access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) not only saved his life but proved to maximize the extent of recovery. Citizen first responders provided life-saving efforts before EMS even arrived on the scene. Just 4 days after this event, Maurice was released from the hospital, neurologically unscathed by the event. To date, he has pretty much resumed all of his previous life’s activities including his highly technical position at a local oil company as well as musical performance and running.
February 14, 2017 - Valentine's Day
It was just like any other Tuesday at the office, arriving at work at 7:00 am, putting the finishing touches on a project in the morning and then going for my daily 4 mile run on the Lake Pontchartrain levee during lunchtime. Just 9 days before, I had completed a half marathon, so I was in pretty good shape. It was an ideal day for a run on the levee, partly cloudy and in the mid 60's. I was scheduled to get on a plane early the next morning to fly to New York City to perform at the famed Jazz at Lincoln Center complex with Delfeayo Marsalis and The Uptown Jazz Orchestra. About one mile out on my run, something inside me told me to turn around and cut the run short. There were no chest pains, no shortness of breath; just a feeling that (with everything that I had to do that day) it would be a good idea to turn around, take it easy and just run two miles.
It was a decision that would prove to be a life-saving one. When I returned to the building, I entered the lobby and proceeded to the elevator which would take me up to the health club on the 9th floor where I typically shower, get dressed and go back to work. I remember looking at my phone to read a text that my wife sent me.
This would be the last thing I remember for the next 4 days.
(Now what happens next I only know through witnesses and first responders.)
It was lunch time on Valentine’s Day, so there were a lot of traffic of people going to and coming from lunch in the Lakeway office building in Metairie, LA.. After selecting “Floor 9” on the elevator touch pad, I boarded ELEVATOR “C”. During my ascent to the Premiere Athletic Club on the 9th floor, I was in the middle of a text to my wife Nancy when I collapsed and landed face down on the floor. This was the moment when I suffered my Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
There were two people on the elevator with me, both going to the health club. When the elevator stopped, one person stayed with me and the other, Sandy Ortego went to call 911 and get help at the health club. Kim Duplessis quickly grabbed my phone before it locked itself and called the last person I was texting; that person was my wife Nancy. For the next 40-50 minutes my wife listened as the remarkable “chain of survival” unfolded in real time.
Tricha Arabie, Nancy Trosclair and Suzy Howard with Maurice Trosclair
Now about these elevators at my office building. They are "smart" elevators where riders select their floor destinations before they get on. So when timer is up, the doors close and it proceeds to its next floor destination. Soon the doors on elevator “C” closed and proceeded to the next floor containing my lifeless body desperately needing medical attention. Our next stop was the 21st floor. When the doors opened, waiting for an elevator was People's Health Nurse Suzanne Howard who was waiting for another elevator. But when she saw me lying face down she knew something was wrong and immediately hopped on the elevator with me and began giving me CPR. I was non-responsive and bleeding from my head that hit the elevator door when I collapsed. As luck would have it, she was trained to perform CPR. Right there on the elevator floor, she began chest compressions and rescue breathing.
The "smart" elevator doors closed again and it proceeded to the next floor with a nurse administering life-saving CPR on me. After 10 minutes or so the elevator landed on the first floor, and when the doors opened up, as fate would have it, there was another People's Health Nurse (also trained in CPR) there waiting. Suzanne Howard screamed out “I need some help here!” And Nurse Tricha Arabie quickly jumped on the elevator to give Suzanne Howard a break with chest compressions and rescue breaths. So there, in tag team fashion, these two amazing women worked together to give me continuous chest compressions.
Meanwhile on the 9th floor Sandy Ortego told Premiere Athletic Club Manager Roy Fontenelle that a man was non-responsive and desperately needed help. They called 911 and Roy (also trained in CPR) quickly grabbed the health club’s Automated External Defibrillator and he along with employee Kaitlyn Reis left to find where I was.
Kimaline Duplesses and Sandy Ortego with Maurice Trosclair
They made it to the elevator which landed on first floor where all the while I was receiving chest compressions. Keep in mind, we now have 6 citizens involved in saving my life, all of whom have life saving training in CPR.
When Roy and Kaitlyn arrived on the scene, everyone present immediately helped deploy the AED and shocked me one time. They checked me for a pulse, continued CPR.
The Emergency Medical Team arrived. The EMS team administered 4 additional shocks to try and restore spontaneous circulation. They attached an automatic chest compression device (Lucas 3) to me and also administered continuous manual breathing. It was 40-50 minutes from my initial collapse before I was finally on a crash cart in an ambulance and on my way to the emergency room.
My wife Nancy, who had listened to Kim Duplessis’ play by play of the whole ordeal was there waiting at the emergency room entrance at East Jefferson General Hospital when the ambulance arrived. There, I was intubated and put in a medically induced coma. I was taken to the cath lab where a stent was placed in my left anterior descending artery. As for the cause of my Sudden Cardiac Arrest, they found 90% stenosis in my left anterior decending artery (which the doctors said could not have caused this event alone). This, along with very low electrolytes, dehydration, arrhythmia, ventricular fibrillation and the stress I was under at the time, proved to be the perfect storm that caused my Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The following Saturday, just 4 days later, I was released from the hospital wearing a "Miracle Meaux" cape.
So I survived a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, NOW WHAT?
Well since all of this happened I have a new nickname. The guys in the band call me “Miracle Meaux.” Often after performing a set, people come up and ask me, “Why do they call you Miracle Meaux?” Then I tell them my incredible story. After sharing my story, some cry and some just can’t believe it. But everyone I tell always thanks me for telling them.
Being a SCA survivor, like so many others before me, I was left with questions. “Why am I getting a second chance at life?" "Why did this happen to me?" "How can I seize the opportunity and pay this experience forward?”
Maurice Trosclair is wheeled out of East Jefferson general Hospital on Saturday, February 18, 2017.
Maurice Trosclair performs at the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update Conference CPR SAVES LIVES second line in December 7, 2017.
The efforts of the amazing people who saved my life have inspired me to share my story and develop a plan to raise funds to purchase AEDs. More specifically, as a New Orleans native and professional musician, I am interested in focusing first on entertainment venues in New Orleans for AED placement. Being a musician and frequent public performer affords a unique opportunity for me to encourage potential citizen CPR training as well as AED awareness. I also feel this effort will be a way to assure the safety of musicians and live music lovers by providing the necessary accessibility of AEDs for local New Orleans venues. Heartbeat NOLA will make this happen!
This story is about the brave, compassionate, and amazing people who worked together to save my life. I would like to thank, Nurse Suzanne Howard, Nurse Tricha Arabie, Sandy Ortego, Kim Duplessis, EMS workers, , Roy Fontenell, Kaitlyn Ries and the medical staff at East Jefferson General Hospital, and of course, my wife Nancy for everything they have done to keep me alive.
I have since been trained in CPR and Basic First Aid and Nancy has been trained to be a CPR/AED instructor. Together we have started Heartbeat NOLA with Suzanne, Tricha, Sandy and Kim serving on our Board of Directors.
911 + CPR + AEDs SAVE LIVES!
"Every day is a gift. Make it count." - Miracle Meaux