Wife helps keep husband alive during a summer vacation cardiac event | Ascension

Wife helps keep husband alive during a summer vacation cardiac event

Florida vacationers receive emergency care from Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola in Pensacola, FL, after an unexpected cardiac event.

A wife's heroic actions and quick responses by Escambia County Fire Rescue and doctors at Ascension Sacred Heart saved her husband's life after he experienced a cardiac event while vacationing in Perdido Key.

Davy and Lucy S. of Westpoint, Tennessee, and their adult children and families have vacationed in Perdido Key for the past three years. On an afternoon in June, Davy, 62, was sitting on a lawn chair grilling hamburgers when Lucy noticed his eyes roll back. She asked her 16-year-old grandson to help lay Davy on the ground and told him to run for help while she called 911.

The emergency operator instructed Lucy to start chest compressions. Fortunately, Lucy’s CPR training as an ultrasound technician made a life-saving difference. She said, “Together with my son-in-law, we took turns doing chest compressions until EMS arrived, nine minutes later.”

Dr. Damon Darsey, Emergency Medicine Medical Director for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, who was on vacation and witnessed the story unfold, said everyone’s response was a textbook example of responding to a cardiac emergency.

“Mr. Davy would not be alive without his wife’s CPR interventions,” Dr. Darsey said. “Everyone did what they were supposed to do that day, and Mr. Davy is living, walking proof. The emergency response was truly flawless.”

A medical transport helicopter landed in a grassy field and flew Davy to Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola. Lucy is grateful for Davy's care at Ascension Sacred Heart for five days. “We had exceptional nurses,” said Lucy, who married her high school sweetheart Davy 43 years ago. “I felt so confident in the care he was receiving that I even went back to sleep in the condo one night.”

This wasn’t the first time Davy had a cardiac event while on vacation. Lucy said he suffered a heart attack three years ago but was able to go to the ER. She said, “That was mild compared to this, but it always stays in the back of your head.”

Davy and his family are back home. Lucy said Davy suffered fractured ribs from repeated chest compressions, but he’s back to normal activities and has an interesting summer vacation story.