Like he had done hundreds of times before, Mark Peterson headed to work in the early morning hours of October 24, 2012. Little did we know that day could have been his last.
"He likes to have things to do, so we were making pizzas and he was holding babies and all sorts of things that morning," KXLY photographer Eric Larsen said.
Larsen was with Peterson that morning at a Papa Murphy's franchise in Post Falls, Idaho, getting ready for the Good Morning Northwest broadcast. But that morning was unlike any other as Peterson started feeling ill.
"Towards the very end, I'm not feeling quite right, I'm dizzy, maybe hungry, you know how you get a little shaky when you haven't had something to eat," Peterson said.
"He was sweating and not feeling well," Larsen recalled.
"It was just a sharp pain right there, then I drank the water and it went away," Peterson said.
"While he was having his moment, he had to do a weather cut-in. So, he did the weather cut-in a little bit doubled over," Larsen said.
"I did the cut-in at 7:25 and got through that. Right after that, I felt like I was gonna throw up," Peterson said.
"If Mark's not high energy and talking and enjoying himself, then he's not Mark. And, we thought, something's not right here," Larsen said.
"I said, 'I'm gonna lay on this floor until someone comes and gets me.' And that's exactly what I did. That's when everything really started happening. I started feeling it in my chest," Peterson said.
"He was conscious through all this and talking, so we were like 'It's probably a heart attack, but its just a mild one, he's doing okay,'" Larsen said.
"I told George, 'Call EMS … we're gonna need 'em," Peterson said.
"It was very long, especially because he was struggling to breathe, and clutching his chest. He was in some real pain. He was obviously distressed," Larsen said.
Mark could hear the sirens approaching in the distance, but it felt like forever for them to get to him. In reality it was just two and a half minutes. The paramedics worked with him on the floor, hooked him up to a monitor straight away to figure out what was happening.
"This is when I knew the guys who come to help you really want to help you, when you see your shirt, ripped and tattered and torn so they can get in there and save your life," Peterson said.
The paramedics confirmed what everyone feared: Mark was having a heart attack.
"Even before Mark got there, we knew he was coming," cardiologist Dr. Keith Kadel said.
"I don't remember having five people working on me in an ambulance, but I remember the ambulance ride. I remember being pulled out of the ambulance in a bay at the hospital. Don't remember coding," Mark said.
The term "coding" refers to a medical event happening in a hospital. "Code Blue" generally refers to a patient suffering a cardiac event, requiring resuscitation.
"I started wandering down to the ER, there was a whole lot of attention," Dr. Kadel said. "I guess Mark kinda likes attention, but he got a lot of attention because his heart stopped completely in the emergency room."
"The crew was right on top of things, they started his heart back up instantly and I guess that's about when i walked in," he added. "He woke up right away -- scared -- which is pretty appropriate, and I said 'You're having a heart attack, we're gonna fix it' and he said OK."
Doctors began working on him and found that one of his arteries was totally blocked. Kadel was able to put a wire down across the artery where it was blocked to get the blood flowing again.
"We were pretty fortunate, we got it open really really fast. So fast, that even though if things hadn't happened that fast, he would no longer be with us," he said.
"I said 'What is so fascinating in the chart?' And he said, 'You understand you had a widow-maker, right?' And I go 'What?' They said, 'It's huge; most people don't live through it," Peterson said.