Mount Nittany Health saved my life: Michael Norris

September 22, 2021
3 min read


Michael Norris and his wife were planning to go on an early-morning bike ride on a hot, humid Sunday in July 2019. “We got up around 5 to beat the heat,” he says. “But when I woke up I wasn’t feeling right. I didn’t have much pain, but I felt very anxious. I told my wife I think she needed to take me to the hospital.”

At the hospital entrance, Michael remembers a triage nurse looking at him with a perplexed expression, then nothing else. His wife told him he collapsed to the floor and was carried into the ER. “They said I had no heart rate for two minutes. They put me on a table and did compressions—they brought me back to life,” he says.

“And this is the amazing thing. At 6:50 in the morning, I’m on the table, dead for all practical purposes. By 7:30 they had me in the cath lab and Dr. Jones is repairing my heart by inserting a stent. By around 9 I’m in the ICU and they’re asking me what I want for lunch. So I had a turkey dinner.”

Michael points out an interesting coincidence. The engineering firm he used to work for had done some work for the hospital. “It turns out that I had participated in the design of the cath lab where my life was saved,” he says.

Michael describes himself as “going full tilt” after having 80 percent blockage in an artery. “It’s unbelievable. I think about all the people who helped me, and how they drop everything and come in when they’re on call. That’s commitment.”

At Mount Nittany Health’s annual get-together for cardiac survivors, Michael had a chance to speak with the team and doctors who cared for him. “I really appreciated being able to say in person to them, ‘Thank you so much for saving my life.’ Thinking about it brings tears to my eyes.”

Since opening our new state-of-the-art cardiovascular pavilion just over a year ago, Mount Nittany Health’s lifesaving team of highly-skilled board certified cardiologists, along with the cardiovascular pavilion team, performed hundreds of critical cardiac procedures. Lives, like Michel’s, are being saved because of the generosity of Mount Nittany Health Foundation donors.

Through its investment in state-of-the-art cardiac care, Mount Nittany Health Foundation supports best-in-class healthcare. Learn more about the benefits of giving to Mount Nittany Health Foundation at or call 814.234.6777.

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