Lower Mills native helps salute hospital that saved his life

Jack Doherty’s near-fatal heart attack is nearly eighteen months in the rear-view mirror, a fact for which he, his family and friends are grateful. The Dorchester businessman and Hingham resident had the chance to tell his story recently to a crowded room recently at Alma Nove Restaurant in Hingham, at a reception hosted by the South Shore Hospital Charitable Foundation.

Doherty, an athlete and avid hockey player, suffered a heart attack on the ice on Oct. 9, 2013 while playing hockey with some friends. He would later learn that he was dead for nearly seven minutes.

The Lower Mills native took to the podium and recounted the events.
“Tonight is not about me,” he said. “It’s about all of you - all of you who never gave up on me.”

Doherty recalled a conversation with his friend Paul Wahlberg, who offered the use of the family restaurant for the event. In starting to thank Walhberg, he was told, “No need to thank me. This isn’t about you. It’s about all the people who saved you.”

The events of that night, which began on the ice at the rink and ended at South Shore Hospital, all contributed to what Doherty’s physician, Dr. David Litvak, termed a complete recovery. And nearly all of the people who helped in his recovery came together at this event- from his hockey player friends who immediately began CPR, to the paramedics from Fallon Ambulance, to the nurses and doctors at South Shore Hospital.

Doherty’s cardiologist, Dr. David Litvak, talked about the hospital’s impressive record of treating cardiac patients and said that Jack Doherty represented “one great life saved here tonight.”

The event included commendations from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, recognizing all of the individuals who participated in Doherty’s recovery. Doherty’s company, College Hype presented the hockey players with special T-shirts and the audience with “Forever Grateful” shirts. Doherty said, “South Shore Hospital is an awesome place. I don’t ever wish what I went through on anyone else, but it’s reassuring to know that, when a cardiac emergency occurs, we have such a world class facility here for treatment.” He urged people to support the Foundation’s fundraising efforts.

“Jack’s story is remarkable but not uncommon,” said Richard Aubut, President and CEO of South Shore Health and Educational Corp., parent company of South Shore Hospital. “Our many patients and families understand and greatly appreciate this care and compassion. We’re extremely fortunate to have an incredible team of caregivers - physicians, nurses and others with tremendous skill and experience, and with an enormous level of compassion that comes from caring for family, friends and neighbors.”