heart attack while he was driving to a funeral. A phone call to his wife saved his life.
heart attack while he was driving to a funeral. A phone call to his wife saved his life. TAHLIA STEHBENS

Drive to funeral a real heart stopper

QUEENSLAND Ambulance Service paramedics Kaylah Bull and Andres Schefer were settling in for a routine shift last month when their first case of the day was called through.

Seventy-one-year-old William Fisher was suffering chest pain and in the lead-up to the call, had shown the tell-tale early warning signs of an impending heart attack.

"I'm just so grateful there's such a fantastic health system, especially the paramedics system, in this country," Mr Fisher said.

The day before while he was gardening, Bill suffered an episode of chest pain then, later that night, was woken from his sleep by a second episode. The third sign struck him while, of all things, driving to a funeral. He pulled over and immediately called his wife, who called 000.

When paramedics arrived, Bill was pale and clammy and had central, dull chest pain. Paramedics also assessed him as having a low heart rate and low blood pressure, and clinical tests conducted on scene confirmed his condition was critical.

"I go to the gym four times a week and I'm fit and healthy, so it was a bit of a shock," he said.

Kaylah and Andres used a myriad of medications to settle his pain and nausea, thin his blood and increase his heart rate and blood pressure, while Critical Care paramedic Brendan West was tasked with administering a life-saving treatment that can only be used in certain cases within a specific window of time.

The thrombolysis, a clot-busting treatment, was successful and Mr Fisher was rushed to Bundaberg Hospital for further treatment.

Yesterday Bill visited the ambulance station and thanked the paramedics who saved his life.

Thanks to them, and the early access of an ambulance, Bill is back home with his wife Wendy, performing day-to-day tasks with few limitations.

He and his family are aware of the irony of driving to a funeral that day, knowing it could easily have been his they had to plan for if not for the quick thinking of his wife and the efforts of the paramedics that day.



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