The Meaningful Thing that One Paramedic Did During My Husband’s Medical Emergency

A photo of a man standing outside wearing a face mask

This is Lieutenant Gregg.

A photo of a man standing outside wearing a face mask
Photo: Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue

He is one of the first responders who helped us when my husband’s heart stopped beating in his sleep three years ago. On his way up the stairs to our bedroom, Lt. Gregg stopped briefly in the hallway. He made eye contact with our 8- and 5-year-old children in their beds before quietly shutting the door to their room.

Lieutenant Gregg would turn out to be a person I’ll never forget.

Emergency personnel took my husband downstairs to lay him on the hardwood floor, where they would shock his heart.

Throughout the ordeal, Lt. Gregg took the time to communicate everything and keep me updated. He told me they had shocked Will’s heart five times and given him three rounds of epinephrine and a dose of amiodarone. He reassured me that they got Will’s heartbeat back before leaving the house and then gave me written instructions to meet up with them at the Emergency Room.

All I could see were his eyes. 

They were the only thing visible behind his hazmat suit, hood, and facemask. Those eyes were filled with compassion and kindness, and he took the time to answer every last one of my questions. Most impactfully, they saw me and my needs as the co-survivor of medical trauma. 

And that made all the difference.