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‘I legit thought I was going to die … and I refused to call an ambulance’

Cohost Kelly Grayson recounts his recent medical scare, and how to treat respiratory distress of unknown origin

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This episode of Inside EMS is brought to you by Lexipol, the experts in policy, training, wellness support and grants assistance for first responders and government leaders. To learn more, visit

In this episode of Inside EMS, Kelly Grayson rejoins Cohost Chris Cebollero to discuss his recent medical scare and to celebrate 10 years of Inside EMS.

Kelly recently suffered a massive pulmonary embolus, which severely compromised blood flow to nearly 100% of both his lungs.

Though he admits delaying care was not the brightest decision at the time, he now knows how close he came to losing his life, and is committed to taking his health seriously – both mental and physical.

Notable quotes from this episode

“Be good patients and don’t be stupid. We are the world’s worst at taking care of ourselves.”

“It slapped me upside the face on April 14 that it’s time to start walking the walk about your own health.“

“Even if you have the capacity to rationalize, and the capacity to be clinically analytic during your own medical emergency, ultimately, all it’s going to do is give you piece of mind when you die that you knew what killed you.”

Chris and Kelly discuss:

  • The lessons learned from Kelly’s near-death experience
  • How to treat a massive PE, which may look like a code of unexplained origin
  • How to rely on pulse ox and CO2 for a respiratory distress of unknown origin
  • Kelly’s health journey, including which weight loss options are on the table

Read more about Kelly’s medical scare: