Woman meets dispatcher, paramedic who kept her alive during major heart attack

Medic, dispatcher eager to meet woman who survived

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indianapolis woman whose life was saved by dispatchers and EMS workers got a chance to meet Tuesday with those who helped her.

Kathy Simpson and her husband, John, were driving home from an Indiana Pacers game last March when Kathy suddenly suffered a major heart attack.

As John began driving toward Methodist Hospital, dispatchers told him to stop driving and start CPR immediately.

"I was the 911 call taker and dispatcher that took the call initially and got him to stop and pull over and start the CPR immediately so that we could get things going until paramedics arrived on scene," said dispatcher Will Gonzalez.

Officials said that decision was critical in saving Kathy's life.

"I showed up probably like a minute after them and helped give the meds and helped continue care and transport her to the hospital," said paramedic Landen Raab.

Kathy was excited to get a chance to thank those who helped.

"I don't remember anything from that night, but I know that you guys saved my life," Simpson said. "It was one year ago, and I'm here today, so thank you."

The meeting was an enlightening experience for Gonzalez and Raab.

"You want to try and find out exactly what happens at the end. You never get a chance to meet anybody," Gonzalez said. "This is the first time I actually got a chance to meet one of the patients, and it was a good experience."

"It's really fulfilling to see somebody and realize that I do make a difference, that I do save lives," Raab said.

Officials said CPR was started in similar cases in Indianapolis last year 23 percent of the time. They hope that percentage keeps climbing.

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