Ala. Cardiac Arrest Victim Thanks Firefighters Who Saved His Life
The Anniston Star, Ala.
Aug. 15—Wayne Caldwell paused to choke back tears before talking more about the eight men and women standing behind him in Oxford City Hall on Tuesday evening.
Odds are, he wouldn't be alive without them.
The Oxford residents, who included three city firefighters, all helped save Caldwell's life after he went into cardiac arrest on March 22. The group was honored with awards for their help during the regular Oxford City Council meeting on Tuesday.
"I'm glad to be here, literally," Caldwell said, getting a round of laughs from the more than 30 people in attendance. "To be an Oxford guy is to know you're with a community that cares about you."
Stop Heart Attack, a Birmingham-based companies that provides defibrillator equipment to the Oxford Fire Department to treat cardiac arrest victims, and the American Heart Association, had representatives at the meeting who presented awards to the group for helping save Caldwell's life.
"This is what it takes to help resuscitate a patient," Brady McLaughlin, CEO of Stop Heart Attack, said of the group. "Because he had high-quality CPR, that helped save his life."
Caldwell, 51, who is the student services coordinator for the Oxford school system, was watching a high school softball game at Choccolocco Park in Oxford on March 22 when he went into cardiac arrest. Three firefighters in service at the game rushed to Caldwell and started performing CPR. Also, residents who were just in the park but had CPR training also participated in helping resuscitate Caldwell.
"Our guys were there just doing their jobs, but y'all didn't have to, but you did and we appreciate it," Fire Chief Gary Sparks said to the helpers at the meeting.
Haley Boyd, athletic trainer at Choccolocco Park, immediately got a defibrillator on site for the firefighters when she heard of the emergency.
"I was also one of the first on the scene and called 911," Boyd said. "I was just glad everyone was there because I'm usually there by myself."
An ambulance arrived about 10 minutes after the incident began and Caldwell was sent first to Regional Medical Center, then to UAB Hospital. He received treatment and was released May 17.
"Oxford is a place my family calls home," Caldwell said. "I love and appreciate all of you."