Town staff, police save man’s life after heart attack
by Staff Writer
Janet Moellendick made a wrong turn last week when she was trying to find help for her dying husband, and it was that mistake that likely saved his life.
Her husband, Jack, 68, had come home Tuesday, Dec. 6, feeling sick and sweating profusely. Janet Moellendick got him into their car and took off from their River Run home, heading for Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville.
But by the time they reached the corner of Gilead Road and N.C. 115, Jack Moellendick was in full convulsions. He stopped responding to her. Panicked, his wife wheeled the car to the left and screeched into the town hall parking lot.
“I thought it was the police station,” Janet Moellendick said this week. “I was panicked and I was trying to remember where the station was and just made a wrong turn. I think God had a plan for me to make that wrong turn.”
Carolyn Whitted, the town’s administrative assistant, was sitting at the front desk when Janet Moellendick burst through the front door and screamed “Someone help. My husband is having a heart attack!”
Whitted quickly dialed 911 and Management Assistant Bobby Williams and Human Resources Director Vickie Brock, who overheard the scream, grabbed the portable defibrillator and rushed outside.
When they got there, Jack Moellendick was blue. He didn’t have a pulse and wasn’t breathing.
As Williams unpacked the device, Huntersville Police Sgt. Scott Sharpe wheeled his car into the parking lot. A few seconds later, Capt. Barry Graham came around the corner to help. He had sprinted from his office at the police station from a block away.
They shocked Moellendick with the paddles and tried to bring him back to life as the paramedics showed up. Police cars piled into the parking lot as officers rushed to help.
While emergency crews worked, town staff prayed with Janet Moellendick and tried to comfort her.
“They asked me my name and my husband’s name so they could pray for us by name,” Janet Moellendick said. “They cared that much.”
Paramedics were able to stabilize Jack Moellendick and rushed him to Carolinas Medical Center-Main in Charlotte.
Doctors told the family a fully-blocked artery caused the heart attack. He was lucky to have survived.
Doctors put a stint in the blocked artery and within days, Jack Moellendick was feeling well again.
“This was a God miracle,” Janet Moellendick said. “It was an absolute miracle what happened that day.”
A pastor who visited the family in the hospital joked that “God wasn’t done with Jack’s good work on Earth,” his wife said. Her husband, with their son, runs the Octogon Group – www.octogongroup.com, a business that builds strong, cheap homes for impoverished areas. They’re currently building homes in Haiti that can be put up fast and withstand natural disasters.
Jack Moellendick said he doesn’t remember much from that day. But he feels blessed to still be alive.
“Thanks to Janet and the town of Huntersville I’m still here,” he said. “I can’t tell you how grateful I am to everyone for what they did.”
Town staff members have stayed close with the family since the heart attack. Brock calls the family regularly to check in.
Brock said all the congratulations should go to the town’s police and emergency responders for what they did that day.
“They did all the hard work,” she said. “They’re the heroes.”
Those who assisted in saving Jack Moellendick’s life include:
Lt. Scott Sharp
Office John Allen
Capt. Barry Graham
Officer Brad Doan
Sgt. Konrad Koch
Officer David Lawing
Huntersville Fire Department
Capt. Blake Ewart
Firefighter Nathan Dove
Capt. Dave Whitener
Firefighter John Welty