30 minutes to live

FSU geography professor One blood clot Heart failure at age 34 A medical miracle

Imagine waking up every morning having to deal with severe heart problems, and barely making it out alive.

Justin Scheidt, a 34-year-old FSU geography professor, has been living this life for the last couple of years.

“When I was in my early twenties, I noticed I had an irregular heartbeat. I ignored it for a while, and when I decided to go to a doctor, they said it was nothing,” Scheidt said. “Over time it started getting worse so I finally decided to find a cardiologist to make sure everything was okay. He determined that there might be, in his words, ‘something funny’ going on in the left side of my heart.”

And he was right. The doctors found that the left side of Scheidt’s heart was not pumping as much blood as it should have been. Scheidt’s ejection fraction, the percentage of blood being pumped through, was at 35 percent. Normal range is 55-70 percent.

At that point, Scheidt’s heart problems were not affecting his day to day activities. He was active with sports and, according to him, very energetic. The doctors told Scheidt it was not a big deal and gave him medicine to help increase his ejection fraction.

Unfortunately, the medicine did not work out as well as the doctors had hoped. The left side of Scheidt’s heart continued to remain steady through June 2010 and only pumped near 35 percent of the blood.

Just four months ago things took a turn for the worse, or in Scheidt’s words, “All hell broke loose.”

In November 2011, Scheidt caught pneumonia. He went to the hospital and was told that somehow the infection made its way into his heart and was affecting it badly. He was told that his ejection percentage had now dropped to 15 percent–a level where heart transplants are discussed.

He was kept in the hospital for three nights and given medicine to stay on for two months. The doctors said they would reevaluate him in after that time elapsed.

In January 2012, Scheidt asked his mom to find the best cardiologist she could in order to get a second opinion. His mom made an appointment with Dr. Leslie Miller, a cardiologist at Tampa General Hospital in Tampa Bay, Fla..

Scheidt stayed in the hospital for one night in order for Dr. Miller to run tests on his heart. As the results agreed with those of the doctors in Michigan, Scheidt was discharged from the hospital at 10 a.m. the next morning.

Just 10 minutes later, Scheidt saw his life flash before his eyes.

“I sat up and started convulsing; I felt my blood pressure leaving me. I dialed the nurse and within two minutes, Dr. Miller and eight others were in the room strapping the bed down,” Scheidt said. “I didn’t know what was happening, but basically a huge blood clot went into my left lung. And I had 30 minutes to live. Of all the ways for it to happen, it happened in the ER. God saved my life there.”

Scheidt was scheduled to have open heart surgery in just a few days. However, in his words, nothing short of a miracle happened for him within the last two weeks.

On Tuesday, March 5, doctors scoped Scheidt’s heart to see if there was more damage than they were expecting in the surgery. They found that the left side of Scheidt’s heart had begun to heal itself. His ejection fraction increased to 20-25 percent.

Based on these results, Scheidt’s doctors called off the surgery and instead want him to continue with heavy medicine. Scheidt is hoping his heart ejection fraction will increase to 40 to 45 percent, which at that point he can go back to living a normal life.

Scheidt said everyone’s thoughts and prayers have really helped him through all of his difficult times. He is extremely grateful for the support shown by his coworkers and Ferris.

“I feel like I barely escaped with my life from this, and one of the greatest things I’ve learned is to never take life for granted,” Scheidt said. “Live it each day, even if just a little bit, and be grateful for the friends and family who stand by you in the worst possible times, as they will help pull you through. I am forever grateful to God and to all of those who sent their kind thoughts and prayers. I feel like I’ve been given my life back.”


At the age of 26, I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart failure, in the fall of 2009. My ejec­tion frac­tion was at 15 percent when I was in the ER, then sent to Grand Rapids. I went to the ER thinking I had pneu­mo­nia, but I only had trouble breathing at night, lying down. Too much fluid had built up in my body. I passed all but one of class that semester.  I am currently a student at Ferris, but had to cut back on my course load for the next two semesters while my ejec­tion frac­tion had a chance to heal to a normal range. Last I knew it was back to the 45 percent range. I plan to graduate with my degree in Computer Networking and Systems in May.

 Congratulations 🙂 I’m happy to hear you have gotten through all of that, and will be graduating in May!

Is this his excuse for the March 2012, sexual assault of a 13 yr old girl in INDIANA, and today , April3,2015 is now held on a $200,000.00 bond for this offense?

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