Wyoming man credits ambulance crew with saving his wife -- twice

11:43 PM, Jul 9, 2010   |    comments
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Perry Miller thanks one of two AMR paramedics who saved his wife's life.

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Perry Miller said he just had to meet them.

"I don't know how to thank you actually. How do you thank someone for saving somebody's life," said Perry Miller while hugging two American Medical Response paramedics Friday.

The ambulance crew responded when his wife suffered a heart attack on June 28, transporting her to the hospital. During the trip to Spectrum Butterworth, the crew had to pull to the side of the road twice to give Miller's wife CPR.

Miller says the only thing he could think of was public recognition, so he called 13 On Your Side.

"We thought it was an asthma attack," he said. "I thought she was just going to go down to the hospital and have some breathing treatments."

Laquana Miller, 58, was actually having a serious heart attack.

AMR dispatched the ambulance to the couple's Wyoming apartment. Jake Carter and Jodi Vanderwood were on the call.

"It was definitely more challenging than some of the other calls we get," said Carter.

On their way to Spectrum Butterworth, Vanderwood and Carter resuscitated Laquana Miller twice.

"We also had some help from Wyoming Fire, there were some life savers there who helped us quite a bit," said Carter. "They were there first and we left to go to the hospital and things went downhill and we had to call them back to help us on the way to the hospital."

Carter and Vanderwood visited Laquana Miller at the hospital, who was alert in spite of almost dying.

"She told me...she told you if she could get out of bed and give you a hug she would," said Perry Miller.

The crew credits the outcome to experience, being prepared and well-trained -- something Vanderwood put to use on her first critical patient.

"It's one that I'll always remember and it's very good to see it had a good outcome," Vanderwood said.

It's a call Perry Miller said he will never forget either.

"They saved my life that day, too," he said.

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