Patient returns 2 years later to thank first responders who saved him

Like many days on shift, on Jan. 6, 2020, Engine 633 was dispatched to a medical call by a tire shop near their station for a patient having stroke-like symptoms.

The man was being driven by his wife to a hospital, but as they were leaving the house, they realized the severity of what was going on and called 911.

Within 45 seconds of pulling into the parking lot, Engine 633 joined them and about 30 seconds later, EBR EMS arrived. First responders knew immediately that the man was having a stroke and it was progressing rapidly.

The crew and paramedics worked quickly and efficiently to get him out of the car, onto the stretcher, and get the ambulance in route to a hospital.

Then, something that rarely happens for firefighters, nearly two years later, that man came back to the St. George Fire Dept. a few weeks ago.

On Jan. 31st, everyone officially met Jeff and his wife Tasha. They explained the events of that day, and how they have spent the last two years. Jeff spent over a year in the hospital suffering from multiple strokes, enduring brain surgery, complications ranging from neuropathy to kidney failure, and continues to be challenged through all kinds of therapies.

His doctors told him he wasn’t supposed to be alive. He is thriving now. His doctors told him if he had waited five more minutes, he would definitely not be alive. This is what took him to the St. George Fire Dept. to thank them and tell them all about his journey. 

“Jeff is an example of a warrior. He was originally told he wouldn’t survive. He did.  He was told he would never be normal again. He worked so hard in therapy that they changed it to, “you might be normal in 10 years”. He continued working, now they are saying five years. He is a testament to the willpower we all have inside of us, but very few access during their lifetime,” said St. George. “We are so honored Jeff and Tasha wanted to meet with us, share their story, and remind us why we love our jobs.”

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