Mr. Cole

“The day I fell in love with him was the day we stopped his heart,” Jackie said, tears beginning to form in her eyes. “He is just a wonderfully sweet, grumpy man.”

A retired secret service officer and loving husband and father, Mr. Cole has been through the wringer and has come out on the other side a changed person. “This whole experience has given me a new understanding in life,” he said. “I’m more calm, and people tell me I’m funny now. I’ve never been told I am funny in my adult life.”

Mr. Cole went to the hospital originally for unbearable back pain. After several tests, a cyst was found, but it burst within his body before anything could be done. “Things did not look good for me for a while,” he said calmly. “The last hospital I was at, they said I was a miracle. I kept telling them ‘I refused to let you kill me.’” Mr. Cole came to Vibra Hospital of Charleston as a transfer for wound care and an antibiotic regimen. “My wounds were bad, but they fixed me up,” he said.

Unfortunately, Mr. Cole also suffers from a poor heart. That became the center of attention when his blood pressure dropped and he went into AFib. His night nurse noticed the irregularity in his rhythm and sent him to MUSC to have a procedure done to fix it. “I asked to be sent back right away,” Mr. Cole said. “My wound care doctor is here at the hospital, and they are the best in the area. I wasn’t about to start another plan at MUSC.”

After a few phone calls between doctors, Mr. Cole was sent back to Vibra to complete the procedure to reset his heart. “We administered the Adenosine and I sat with him for a day and a half. I was so worried about him,” Jackie said. The nurse supervisor at Vibra has formed a special relationship with Mr. Cole during his stay. “He was worried about me though. He kept asking me to drink something,” she added laughing.

Mr. Cole’s procedure was successful and his heart started beating again. He was put on drips to control his blood pressure and heart rate. This was a difficult time for Mr. Cole, as all he could do is sit and wait to feel better. “His wounds were healing faster than his heart,” Jaime, his wound care nurse noted.

“Wound care would see me every other day, but now they see me maybe once a week,” Mr. Cole recalled. “They did a great job.” With wound care accounted for, everyone was now waiting for was the medicine to start working for his heart.

After months of dedicated monitoring, and hard work from Mr. Cole, his doctor was able to slowly wean the medication to a much lower dosage. This enabled Mr. Cole to complete physical therapy on the TCU side of Vibra.

Mr. Cole takes comfort in his wife, Nora, and their mutual friend who visit him regularly. “I am who I am because of my wife. She really stepped up and does so much for us,” Mr. Cole said proudly. “She’s the kind of girl, she told me she doesn’t do lawn work. Well guess who was weeding the bushes the other day?” he added with a big smile.

After Mr. Cole’s release, he looks forward to painting again. Selfishly, we do not want to give him up. His discharge is planned for three weeks, leaving just enough time for a few more of his amazing Secret Service stories.