Hearne Woman Alive after EMS Medical Breakthrough

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"I was just sitting there watching the Golden Girls," says Hearne resident, Pamela Shryock.

But moments later, Pamela Shryock's life was suddenly turned upside down.

"The pain just radiated down to my jawbones and to the sides of my neck and shoulder," adds Shryock.

At only 51 years old, Shryock suffered from what doctors say was 'widow maker' heart attack. According to recent studies, only 10% of those suffering from a widow maker heart attack survive.

"This is certainly the most dangerous type of heart attack and the most common to kill people," says Lewis.

"I called 911 and it was scary, I was thinking, God let them get here, let them get here," Shryock says.

When paramedics arrived...

"We found out she was having a heart attack once we put her on the monitor," recalls Adam Gallagher, Robertson County EMS Captain.

"The EKG is really one of the most important thing in diagnosing an acute heart attack," says Brandon Lewis, Medical Director, St. Joseph Emergency Services.

As the Robertson County EMS Chief, Chris Lamb and his team of paramedics know that every second counts.

"A 20 to even 30 minute head start is huge," says Chris Lamb.

Especially when it comes to patients in cardiac arrest.

"Everybody always says you have two lungs, you have two legs, you have two arms, but you only have one heart," says Gallagher.

"Every ten minutes that your heart is blocked or not getting blood flow, you have a two-percent higher chance of dying from your heart attack," says Lewis.

Each ambulance is equipped with a new piece of technology called: 12-lead electrocardiography (ECG). This allows paramedics to transmit information from the ambulance to the hospital in real-time.

"Through our cell phones we can actually see the heart attack going on," says Lamb.

And with a push of a button...

"We can transmit that information to the hospital and ER Physician where he can make that decision to activate the catheterization-lab," says Lamb.

"The EKG that is transmitted from the ambulance actually pops up on our computer screen here in the ER so we can look at it immediately," says Lewis.

Because of the rapid and accurate results, doctors were able to identify the problem before Shryock ever arrived.

"When she arrived the cardiologist, cath-lab team was able to take her immediately to the cath-lab and perform an intervention which stopped her heart attack," says Lewis.

With the help of cutting edge technology and quick response from a team of skilled paramedics, Shryock says she is lucky to be alive.

"Even the next 30 minutes aren't promised," says Shryock.

Now, fully recovered, Shryock is reunited with the heroes who saved her life.

"I'm so glad to see that you are doing better," says Adam Gallagher as he hugs Shryock.

"I am. I am doing much much better," says Shryock, as she tries to hold back tears.

"There's just nothing that I can ever do to repay them for what they've done," Shryock says. "if it wasn't for that piece of equipment and their knowledge too, I wouldn't be sitting here today."

Recently, the entire Robertson County EMS Department was awarded and recognized for their outstanding services by the the Brazos Valley Regional Advisory Council, or BCRAC.

On top of that, Chris Lamb, was presented with a 'EMS Administrator Award' by the BVRAC.