blinkstar.gif (494 bytes) Bruce Gooch

I was playing basketball on Easter Sunday, April 16, 1995 with some younger friends of mine. I was 38 years old at the time. After about 20 minutes of 3-on-3 action, we had to stop play due to another player's injury. We had walked up to the neighborhood church to play basketball - maybe a quarter-mile from my mother's home in Marion, Arkansas.


The injured player was suffering a "Charlie horse" to his leg.


Anyway, while standing there, I suddenly noticed my chest begin pounding very hard and very slow. I could actually see my chest expand with every beat. The other players, all of whom were quite younger than me, started heckling me about being old. I was told, "Just lay down and it'll go away!" About this time, my sister showed up at the playground in my car. What's weird about that is the fact that she had never before or since borrowed my car! As she walked up, my chest then began to beat extremely fast. Again the guys said, "Just lay down you old man." I told my sister she had better get me to the hospital and fast. 

I got into the car and remembered only that she was driving very fast - like 70 mph in a 30 mph zone! I told her that I was dying and that I'd like her to tell my wife, Nicki, that I loved her. Nicki was in California with my 9 month old son, Bryan. They were to join me in Arkansas in a few weeks. That was my last conscience memory.

At this time, I could not see my Dad; but, I felt his presence. It was an incredibly strong feeling! Then I saw my wife sitting on the couch as my baby crawled on the floor. I don't know how it was that I could see them so clearly, but I did! They were nearly two thousand miles away! But I saw them as clear and as certain as if I were there in person.

I then remembered someone hitting me in the chest and hard! I'll never forget how angry I was at her! Not for hitting me, but for bringing me back from wherever I was! The feeling of happiness and serenity is one I'll never forget and this damn nurse had the audacity to take me away from there! As it turned out, she was an English transfer nurse who just reacted instinctively. I was told later that had she not been there, I would have certainly died. I guess I was in what they call Ventricular Tachycardia and that in America, a bicardial thump is not considered a remedy for that condition.

This all took place at the Crittenden Hospital in West Memphis, Arkansas on April 16, 1995. This is 100 percent true account of what happened to me on that day.

"Truth sits upon the lips of dying men." - Matthew Arnold

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