Heart attack victim thanks first responders


These days John Lewis has much to be thankful for, especially for the emergency personnel who saved his life last month. “Most people don’t get to go home alive after their heart stops for 30 minutes,” says John.

June 28 started off like any other day. John’s wife, Sheryl, was at work and John was working at home. Around 10:30 a.m. John started to feel ill. “I felt like I had a really bad flu, but it was so much worse than I have ever experienced” says John.

His intuition told him he needed to seek help immediately. Afraid he would pass out before reaching 911 and giving them his address, he called his wife Sheryl instead. Sheryl contacted 911 and then called a neighbor to see if they could be there to let the paramedics in the house. The neighbor found John upstairs on the bed and stayed by his side until help arrived.

Shortly after the neighbor arrived, AMR and the paramedics from Fire Station 5 in Quail Valley arrived. As they were checking his pulse, John’s heart stopped beating. “The last thing I remember hearing is the paramedics come into the house,” says John. Paramedics continued to work on John until he arrived in the emergency room. John says, “I understand that I was flatline for nearly 30 minutes before they could bring me back.”

“Kudos and a huge thank you to AMR. Minutes or even seconds difference could have ended in a very different outcome. I know that some of us had concerns about emergency services here in the lake at times, but I would like to report that AMR ambulance is indeed here and providing great service to our community! I would also thank all the wonderful people at Inland Valley Medical Center off of Clinton Keith, including the doctor who is a Canyon Lake resident.”

John had a pacemaker implanted before leaving the hospital. To date, he has suffered no ill effects from the incident, and says, “ Thanks to AMR and the great people in the emergency room, I am home and my life is getting back to normal now. I owe them a huge thank you for their response and professionalism.”


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Donna Ritchie