LODD: Minn. paramedic dies from complications of on-duty stroke

Nicole Van Heel, 34, died of a pulmonary embolism, a complication from a stroke she suffered in June

Duty Death: Nicole Van Heel - [St. Cloud, Minnesota]

End of Service: 11/25/2018

By EMS1 Staff

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — A paramedic died Sunday from complications of an on-duty stroke she suffered in June.

According to a GoFundMe launched to raise money for hospital bills, veteran Gold Cross Ambulance paramedic Nicole Van Heel, 34, died of pulmonary embolism, which was a result of a stroke she suffered while on duty.

Van Heel had worked for Gold Cross since 2007.

"She loved to provide and she loved to work with people," Gold Cross Ambulance Supervisor Elie Deeb said. "It's a huge loss."

CBS Minnesota reported that Van Heel had been recovering from surgery the week of Thanksgiving, and no one saw the fatal blood clot coming.

“It’s going to be hard,” Amanda Cherne, longtime friend and coworker of Van Heel, said. “We’ve known each other since junior high, and friends since high school.”

Deeb added that Van Heel made a lasting impact.

“She was willing to be part of that and help people in their bad times and their good times,” she said. “She made a difference in a lot of peoples’ lives.”


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