Patient thanks EMS workers for using new life saving technique

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -Doctors and medics save lives everyday, but it's rare they're honored for their hard work.

One patient publicly thanked a Richmond doctor who developed a new method to help people recover from cardiac arrest. Medics with Richmond Ambulance Authority thought they were responding to a normal chest pains call.

I don't think they expected to encounter what they ran into," said Curtis Monk, who was their patient.

Two years ago, paramedics rushed Monk to the hospital. On the way, his heart stopped. That's when medics used a new technique called Therapeutic Hypothermia. When a person's heart stops, the brain can't receive oxygen or blood easily. The technique cools the blood quickly.

"That slows the metabolism and prevents much of the injury that occurs once the person is resuscitated," said Dr. Joseph Ornato, who developed the technique. "It works like a charm.

It worked just in time to save Monk's life.

"How do you say thanks?" Monk added. " I realize I've been given the gift of time. The best way is to do good things to other people.

He's also giving credit where credit is due. The medic who saved his life, Julie Anderson, says she was just doing her job. She was honored to meet him. "You save lives everyday," she said. "It's nice once in a while you get to meet the survivor."

That's why she's here, along with everyone else at RAA, to honor Dr. Ornato's technique. He received the Virginia Governor's Award for Outstanding Work.

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