LEONARDTOWN, Md. – Six years ago today, Corporal David Corcoran technically dropped dead while he was playing goalie at an ice hockey game. Luckily, he was playing with other emergency first responders who quickly resuscitated him and because of their immediate and successful efforts, Cpl. Corcoran is today a 25-year veteran of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office.
On April 7, 2017, Cpl. Corcoran was playing in a fundraising charity hockey game in Washington D.C. to support the Washington Burn Foundation. Cpl. Corcoran was playing goalie for his team when about a minute into the third period, the gameplay was down at the other end of the rink. But suddenly Cpl. Corcoran dropped down face first onto the ice unresponsive.
The other players immediately responded and started CPR on him. A staff member at the rink brought over an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and Cpl. Corcoran took two shocks before he started breathing again and regained consciousness.
Cpl. Corcoran was only 43 at the time.“At that point, I had the elephant on the chest,” feeling burning and pressure in his chest, Cpl. Corcoran said in a recent interview looking back on the incident.“When I woke up, they told me that I had a heart attack,” Cpl. Corcoran said in an interview with The Enterprise newspaper in 2017. “I didn’t believe them. They said, ‘no, you were dead.’”Cpl. Corcoran was transported to an area hospital where doctors found that one of his arteries was completely blocked.
Doctors performed surgery, reopening the artery with a stint and Corcoran said he felt “instant relief” following the procedure and he was out of the hospital the following Monday.
Cpl. Corcoran said his family has a history of heart disease and there were indications the week before the heart attack happened that something with his health was amiss. He felt chest discomfort on the Monday before the cardiac arrest while playing ice hockey. “My chest was burning. I never thought about a heart attack at all,” he said, because he was playing hard.
The next day, he rode a bicycle and felt the same pain in the chest, but it went away.By the time of Friday’s charity ice hockey game, Cpl. Corcoran said he wasn’t feeling well. “To me it felt like the flu times a million,” he said. He felt dizzy. He was light-headed and had trouble breathing. And then he went down.But following the stint procedure and the years since, “the heart is tip top,” Cpl. Corcoran said. And he quickly went back to working full time at the Sheriff’s Office.“I’m going to do everything I have to do … so I can live long enough to see my kids grow up, and [enjoy] retirement,” he told The Enterprise in 2017. “Forty-three more years would be good.”
Cpl. Corcoran is now a 25-year veteran of the agency, currently working in the Special Operations Division in the Evictions Unit.He grew up in St. Mary’s County and started playing street hockey when he was 15 years old. Three years later, he started playing ice hockey “and I was just hooked from there on,” he said.Cpl. Corcoran still plays ice hockey in Southern Maryland, now joined by his son Cobe.
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