WEST ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – You can probably tell by looking at his bike that Michael Kim is an avid bicyclist.
But a couple Saturdays ago while riding he started getting some weird readings from his Garmin bike computer, which monitors his ride and things like his heart rate and other vital signs.
“I was going for a little bike ride to Rockwood Reservation,” said Kim, Monday.
He described the Garmin bike computer which gave him advance warning something was wrong.
“Distance, speed. There are a lot of things it can calculate,” he said.
But that wasn’t the problem.
“It's telling me within minutes of beginning my ride, not even warmed up, that I'm already pushing 150 beats per minute, which is...”
At first he thought it was a computer glitch. But as time went on Kim started to realize his monitor wasn`t broken. And he was becoming increasingly concerned that instead, he was broken.
“Yeah, definitely,” said Kim. “Light-headed, feel it coming on very quickly.”
He showed us the history on his bike computer.
“This is the highest it hit on that before I stopped-- 141 beats per minute. And that was like in the first 6 minutes. Six minutes into my ride, and I was like gosh... with the light-headedness, I knew something was up.”
So Kim pulled over, and got off his bike.
And along came Ruben Aymerich, who just happens to be a doctor.
“Castlewood, or one of the parks,” said Dr. Aymerich, who is a gastroenterologist at SSM St. Claire in Fenton. “We were going on a little bit of a hike.”
Aymerich could see Kim was in distress.
“When we got out of the car he clearly was having a little bit of trouble talking, making coherent sentences. Said he was having a little shortness of breath.”
So Aymerich called 911, Kim spent a few days at St. Clare Hospital for a procedure, and the rest, as they say, is history.
“Oh, I was thankful he was there,” said Kim. “I mean a lot of people just drive by. It was great. He was caring enough to roll down the window and say, 'How are you doing?' It was my chance to say, 'Not so good.'”
Kim said his doctors tell him he had a ventricular tachycardia, or rapid heartbeat that starts in the lower chambers of the heart. Doctors installed a defibrillator. Kim was in the hospital for three or four days and back to work the day after he was released.