Hometown Pride Tour: The Heart of Mardi Gras

Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 6:43 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Rick Keck, a long-time resident of Nocona, experienced an unbelievable incident during Nocona’s Mardi Gras parade last year. Keck fell face down, and those who could help, rushed by his side.

“They loaded him in the ambulance and worked on him for a significant amount of time in the ambulance,” said Kelly Roden, Family Physician at Nocona General Hospital.

Roden arrived at Keck and start performing a quick assessment on him, along with chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth. His heart was failing.

“He was in a fatal rhythm called Ventricular tachycardia, which requires you to shock them and so they were able to administer the shocks that he needed and secure his airway,” said Roden.

Without that fast response, Keck may not have survived. His diagnosis was a 1% survival rate. He spent 18 days in the hospital.

“I think they did CRP on me for 15 minutes or 20 minutes waiting for the ambulance and other first responders to get there. And they actually told my family to prepare for my passing at one time cuz my liver and kidneys were shutting down so it was pretty emotional,” said Rick Keck, cardiac arrest survivor.

Although Roden is experienced she was out of provider mode at the parade and did what she could to help save him.

“You know better than anybody what the chances of surviving that type of incident are and they’re very, very low. And so you feel for them and you feel for the family at that moment because you know not only what they’re going through but what may be a head in the next day or two to come,” explained Roden.

This year, The Mardi Gras committee will honor Keck as the Grand Marshal. He believes the praise should go to those who helped save him.

“They’re the true heroes, they could have chosen to ignore and gone by, and within a matter of they tell me I would’ve had a brain...I may not have woken up in a coma or I would’ve passed away,” said Keck.

“You can be the best doctor and give the best medicine all of these things that we have and we can offer, pale in comparison to what’s God plan for your life is,” said Roden.

“If I’d had that heart attack any other place either driving up to Nocona from the fort worth area or out working in the barn without them being close by I would not be here today,” said Keck.