TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A Tyler heart patient at UT Health East Texas met with the crew who helped save his life after his heart unexpectedly stopped beating.

“My heart just stopped,” Curtis Cason said of that night. “The last thing I remember is me and my wife at home discussing scriptures out of the Bible, and she later told me I slumped over and couldn’t breathe.”

According to UT Health, his wife Brynn immediately called 911, where she spoke with an EMS dispatcher while doing chest compressions on her husband for over 10 minutes before paramedics could get to their home.

The Tyler Fire Department arrived first and shocked his heart once before an EMS crew arrived and shocked his heart several more times to get it back into a normal rhythm. Charles Bishop, who has been a paramedic for five years, said this was his first code that “had an actual fighting chance.”

“There was little room for errors, but if it wasn’t for his wife I don’t think we even would have had a chance,” Bishop said. “Because of her everything fell into place the way it should have and now we get to see him walk out of the hospital.”

Cason and his wife asked to meet with the crew who helped save his life, and Bishop and EMT Bobby Roberts met him at the hospital the day before he was discharged on Dec. 20.

“To see him fully healthy, it’s humbling,” Bishop said. “To see him now, actually walking and talking and super healthy for the most part, it’s very amazing to see.”

When Cason arrived at UT Health Tyler, a cardiologist discovered he had a tear in the mitral valve of his heart, causing the cardiac arrest.

“After the mitral valve was repaired, Cason also had a defibrillator installed to prevent future abnormal heart rhythms,” officials with UT Health East Texas said. “However, the cardiac team credited Cason’s successful recovery to the quick actions of his wife and EMS.”

Cason and his wife said that they both agreed “he’s a walking miracle,” and UT Health EMS Medical Director Dr. Yagnesh Desai said Cason’s successful experience was an example of the teamwork involved in responding to emergency medical calls.

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