CONCORD, N.C. — Cabarrus County EMS is celebrating its seventh year of receiving the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus award.
The award is for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. Lisa Canday was one of those patients in December of 2019.
Canday was opening up the Chick-fil-A when she had a heart attack known as “The Widow Maker.” It’s a complete block in one of the arteries. Lisa was hooked up to an EKG machine to monitor her heart and give her a shock as paramedics rushed toward Atrium Health Cabarrus.
Part of the reason Cabarrus County EMS recieved the Lifeline EMS Gold Plus award is that the EKG being used not only helped paramedics know the right steps in the ambulance, but also sent a copy of the report via bluetooth to the hospital.
A cardiologist was able to be on standby and rush Lisa up to the Cath Lab to place a lifesaving stint in her heart without any delays.
“The doctors told me after I woke up that same day that I was never supposed to wake up, I was never supposed to walk, I was never supposed to breath again after having that particular heart attack,” Canday says.
One of her paramedics, Chris Goenner, was saved by the same type of machine in 2013 when he came to work for Cabarrus County EMS.
He was at the station when he passed out, and when hooked up to the EKG, it showed dangerous hearth rhythms from an undiagnosed heart defect.
“I was at the right place at the right time surrounded by people who knew what to do. If I had been at home that day when my wife was at work, my kids were at school, I wouldn’t be here today,” Goenner said.