British EMS provider suffers heart attack while treating cardiac patient

Senior EMT Jeremy Williams "looked like he was about to die," said a colleague with the East of England Ambulance Service


By Leila Merrill

STEWARTBY, England — An EMS provider was treating a patient in cardiac arrest when he had a heart attack, according to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.

“We knew it was a bad job when we arrived because the patient’s condition was so serious, but it just seemed to get worse from there," said Senior Emergency Medical Technician Jeremy Williams, 53.

Jeremy Williams (third from left) experienced a heart attack on the job. David Jadidi, Nadine Ward and Shaun Whittington and other staffers worked together to treat both patients.
Jeremy Williams (third from left) experienced a heart attack on the job. David Jadidi, Nadine Ward and Shaun Whittington and other staffers worked together to treat both patients. (Photo/East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust)

The East of England Ambulance Service crewmember was resuscitating the 30-year-old woman at her home in Stewartby, when he experienced “excruciating” pain.

His colleagues noticed. Some continued work on the woman, while others did an ECG on Williams.

Crewmembers transported Williams to one hospital and the woman to another.

“I’ve come off a motorbike at high speed so know what pain is but have never felt anything like I did on that day. It was so excruciating that the crew couldn’t dry my chest to attach the ECG. But once they did get a reading, they knew what they had to do and transferred me straight to the specialist hospital at Lister where I had two stents fitted,” Williams said.

Shaun Whittington, advanced paramedic in urgent care, led the response to both incidents.

“Jeremy’s heart rate and blood pressure dropped dramatically while we were on the way to hospital and at one point, I thought he was going to go into cardiac arrest,” Whittington said. “I don’t know who was sweating more – him or me.”

“We waited at the Lister while he had the stent fitted and within just 40 minutes, he was a completely different person,” Whittington said. “When we arrived, he looked like he was about to die, but after the surgery, it was like he had just come home from a holiday.”


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Williams is grateful that the crewmembers saved both lives that day.

“I now feel fine, but shudder to think what the outcome would be if this had happened on a country road in the middle of nowhere with no one else around. But for me, everything fell into place – if I was going to have a heart attack, I couldn’t have had it with better people around me.”

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