Heart attack survivor thanks EMS team - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Heart attack survivor thanks EMS team

EMS workers watch demonstration in St. Joseph's Heart Center. (Source: WTOC) EMS workers watch demonstration in St. Joseph's Heart Center. (Source: WTOC)

This is national EMS workers week, honoring those we depend on when every second counts.

Every year some 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack. Surviving one often depends on getting immediate medical attention.

"When I woke up I was sweaty—I felt pressure on my chest,” said Glenn Howard, heart attack victim.

April 5th, 2016 is a day that Glenn Howard will never forget.

"I will not forget April 5. That's the day I quit smoking,” Howard said.

The day Glenn was hit with a heart attack. At first he and his wife were going to drive to the hospital themselves, but she insisted they call EMS. 

A good move.

Wednesday night, Glenn got a chance to thank some of those EMS workers, who watched intently as doctors and nurses showed them exactly what happens when a patient comes into the heart center at St. Joseph's.

"They do such a great job of stabilizing patients, bringing them to the heart cauterization lab, but they don't get a chance to see what actually happens.  The changes they have made for these patients, getting them to coronary intervention saves their life,” said Dr. Michael John Babcock, St. Joseph’s Heart Hospital.

Howard is certain the call to EMS saved his.

"What if you hadn't done that? I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you today,” he said.

While this demonstration was for the benefit of EMS workers, there was a lesson for everyone.  If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. 

About half of the people who die from a heart attack do so within an hour of their first symptoms and before they reach the hospital. That's why it’s so important to call 911, because EMS can start treatment on a patient on the way to the hospital.

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