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Jim Phillips: Heroes among us

Jim Phillips
Silverthorne

On July 26, I discovered countless heroes in Summit County. I am the Silverthorne man mentioned in Marc Burdick’s article printed in the Summit Daily Aug. 6. While dining at Carlos Miguel’s in Frisco with my wife, Kay, and dear friends Betty and Dick Dubreuil, I went into cardiac arrest. Having had no symptoms or previous heart problems, this was a total shock to my wife and our friends.

The restaurant staff called 911 immediately, and Frisco police officers Sean Koppels and Ahmet Susic were quick to respond with an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). Dr. Heidi Worth and her assistant, Victoria Costello of Frisco, were in the restaurant and rushed to my side to begin life-saving procedures. I have been told I owe my survival to Dr. Worth’s expert CPR technique, which she administered until the paramedics arrived. The paramedics arrived quickly and worked on me for at least 45 minutes as I arrested several more times. I am so grateful the squad car was equipped with an AED, since my electrical system was not functioning properly and without correcting it, I would not have survived. Marc Burdick, Summit County Ambulance Director and his team of emergency responders worked tirelessly until I was able to be transported to St. Anthony’s Summit Medical Center. Once I was at St. Anthony’s an amazing team of emergency room physicians and nurses attended to me. The Flight-For-Life team including Peter, Stacy, and others prepared me to be airlifted to Denver’s St. Anthony’s Central. Megan Hawbaker, RN; Don Fulberg, paramedic; and Rick McGuffin, pilot; delivered me to Denver while attending to my survival needs en route. Upon arrival at St. Anthony’s Central, I was immediately taken to the cath lab where Dr. Svinirich and his staff diagnosed my need for two stents. The care I received at St. Anthony’s Central was professional, caring, and constant. The nurses in CICU were a great comfort to my wife by explaining my condition and answering her questions.

We residents of Summit County can be assured that our quality of care from concerned citizens to our ambulance and police service to our medical professionals is unsurpassed. I encourage anyone who wants to see AEDs deployed throughout the county to make a donation to this effort. My employer has pledged the funds to purchase one that will hopefully be deployed at Carlos Miguel’s.

I thank God for the many heroes involved in my ordeal. Thanks to all of you, and may God bless you.


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