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Brazilian Balloon Pilot Suffers From a Cardiac Event

Mayor honors those involved with the City's Friday's Heroes Coins

October 20, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE - On Sunday, October 4, Antonio Marquez, a balloon pilot and designer from Brazil, experienced chest pains and dizziness while in the Pilot’s Tent at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Friends recognized the heart attack signs and asked for help from the Zebras who immediately called the Albuquerque Fire Department.

AFD Paramedics and EMT’s rushed to the scene to evaluate Mr. Marquez. After checking his vital signs and performing a 12 Lead, Paramedics knew instantly that the patient was suffering from a cardiac event. AFD escorted him to the Lovelace Health System first aid station where he was stabilized by doctors and nurses prior to Albuquerque Ambulance Services transporting him to Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center.

At the hospital, Mr. Marquez went to surgery for a 100% blockage of his left anterior descending artery (LAD). The LAD supplies blood to the large areas of the heart and if gets blocked can cause sudden death. The LAD blockage is often referred to as the “widow maker” because within minutes of the critical blockage occurring the heart muscle stops working and if blood flow is not restored within minutes to hours the muscle typically dies and death can occur.

Doctors worked quickly to place a stent which opened up the blocked artery allowing blood to flow again. The patient remained in the hospital for several days to recover and has since been released. The efforts of all parties effectively saved Mr. Marquez’s life.

According to Mr. Marquez, he was amazed at the speed with which he was treated, noting that in Brazil, the surgery would have taken days or even weeks to occur.

Mr. Marquez received ongoing treatment from Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center and will return to Brazil on October 21.


Albuquerque Fire Department: Captain-Pat Mendoza, Paramedic-Lt. Dan David, Paramedic & Driver-Matt Chinchilla, Firefighter-Joe Miller

Albuquerque Ambulance Services: Paramedic-Jeremy Pecotte, EMT-Jeffrey Harris, EMT-James Lozano

Lovelace Health System First Aid StationProviders; R.N. & First Aid Coordinator-David Demmon, M.D. Michael Garrett, M.D. Roderick McVeety, N.P.Cathy Pape. Nurses; R.N.-Valerie Francis, R.N.-Cherith Baker, R.N.-Meisha Hunt, R.N. Nerissa Gross. Drivers/Technicians; Felicia Benavidez, Oksana Vivchar

Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center/New Mexico Heart Institute: ER team; M.D. Robert McDevitt, R.N. Gerard Brennan. Catheter Laboratory team: M.D.Mark Bieniarz, Denise Jones, Jessica Maness, Johnny Crain, Christa Padilla