Dickson police, fire department and EMS save man’s life after heart attack

Plamedie Ifasso
The Daily Ardmoreite
After Thomas regained a heartbeat, he  was transported to Ardmore Regional Hospital and then flown to Oklahoma North Heart Hospital.

Dickson Police, Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Services and Dickson Fire Department worked together recently to save Dickson man’s life. 

Ronnie Moore was in the process of moving, and his grandson wouldn’t be able to arrive until later in the afternoon to help him. Moore asked his pastor, Michael Caraway, if he knew anybody who would be able to help him. Caraway talked to his brother-in-law, William Thomas, who said he would be available to help. 

“I asked [Thomas] if he could help me, and we started around 9 a.m. on Saturday,” Moore said. “He was actually in a lot better shape than I am. It was muggy and hot, and I kept stopping and taking breaks. He was ready to work.” 

Moore said around 12:30 p.m., they were unloading a dresser onto the back deck of the house, and Moore asked if they could take a break. They set the dresser down to have a drink of water, but when Thomas started to take a drink, he immediately hit the ground. 

“I hollered at him a couple of times to see if he was okay,” Moore said. “I called 911 and let them know where I was at. He only made a couple grasps for air, but after that all the blood went out of his face. He looked pale, and his lips looked blue. He quit breathing. We couldn’t find a pulse or a heartbeat, nothing.” 

Moore said about 10 minutes later, Dickson Police Department arrived. Officer Melissa Tweedy was the first responder on the scene. She checked for a pulse, heartbeat or a breath but found nothing and immediately started CPR. 

“I can’t tell you how long it was before the firemen and everybody arrived,” Tweedy said. “To me, it felt like a few seconds, but the fire department arrived. Assistant Chief Duke took over CPR. EMS arrived, and we immediately started to get him hooked up and put on the gurney. I would say it was probably an hour or so all together that we were there. He did regain a heartbeat and a pulse.” 

Caraway said once Thomas regained a heartbeat and pulse, he was transported to the Ardmore Regional Hospital where hospital staff worked on cooling his body down. Thomas was then flown to Oklahoma North Heart Hospital. Medical staff were able to get him back to a normal body temperature 48 hours later, Caraway said. 

Caraway said the following Friday, Thomas woke up and started breathing on his own. 

“His nurse told us that he knows that people have come back, but he’s never had a patient that has been cooled down ever survive,” Caraway said. “With William being without a heartbeat and without a pulse for over 45 minutes, he’s a miracle.”