That’s exactly what happened to Cleveland resident Diane Fox.
On Nov. 26, 2010, Fox, 64, had a heart attack and collapsed in her driveway.
But this story concludes with a happy ending. Thanks to the quick response of the Bradley County Emergency Medical Service and two Cleveland Police officers, Fox was given a second chance at life.
On Thursday, Fox was given the opportunity to meet the Bradley County EMS paramedics and emergency medical technicians — John Tyler, Eric Johnson, Eric Blach, Joe Blackburn and Shawn Fairbanks — who saved her life.
“Words cannot express how grateful we are to these men and the officers who saved her life,” said E.W. Fox, Diane’s husband.
According to Cleveland Police officer Daniel Leamon, on the evening of Fox’s collapse, Leamon and officer Steve West were in the 1800 block of Fisher Street responding to a domestic violence call. The two officers were within close proximity of Fox when she had her heart attack.
“I immediately checked her for a pulse, and I couldn’t find one. Officer West started doing chest compressions on her while I kept checking for a pulse. She didn’t have one. We did this until the paramedics got there,” said Leamon.
A neighbor, Disa Sapp, also attempted to perform CPR on Fox.
When Bradley County EMS paramedics arrived on the scene, Fox was shocked with a defibrillator three times before paramedics were able to find a pulse.
Fox was then transported to SkyRidge Medical Center and later airlifted to Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga. She was hospitalized for five days before being released.
“The whole thing from start to finish, the doctors said was bad. He called this whole experience a miracle,” said Fox.
“When we arrived on the scene we had a big advantage. We were able to get things turned around very quickly and I would hazard to guess that if the officers weren’t there and did what they did, we may not have had the outcome that we did,” said EMT John Tyler.
“I thank every one of you who was involved in helping save my life,” said Fox, who said she has no real recollection of her collapse.
“We don’t get to see these kinds of outcomes all the time so this is a big deal to us,” Tyler said.
Fox’s name has been added to a “Second Chance at Life” plaque at the Bradley County Emergency Medical Service station on Paul Huff Parkway. Since 1986, 72 names have been added to the “Second Chance at Life” wall.
Leamon offered these words of advice to anyone who doesn’t know how to perform CPR: “The need for it could happen to anyone, anywhere at anytime. The more people that know how to do it, the better.”