Release Date: 5/21/2012
Lifesaving efforts allow local man to walk his daughter down the aisle
Patient Ronald Jones, third from left, is shown at the Exceptional Life Saver Awards celebration with his family and Emergency Department caregivers.
His daughter’s wedding was all that was on the mind of Ronald Jones as he happily watched the bridal party talk about dress fittings at his home in Barnhart on New Year’s Eve 2011. But while sitting in a kitchen chair talking with his family, Jones slumped over and didn’t respond to increasingly panicked questions from his wife, son and daughter. “We called 9-1-1 and our daughter, who happened to be a nursing student, started CPR right away,” says Jones’ wife, Cindy. “He wasn’t breathing and he had no pulse, so I thought I lost him.” But thanks to lifesaving efforts by crews and medical personnel from St. Anthony’s Medical Center, as well as Jefferson County 9-1-1, Antonia Fire Department and the Rock Township Ambulance District, Jones survived. “I died a few times,” says Jones. “Twice at my home and then at the hospital. Each time, they brought me back to life.”
Jones is one of only eight “exceptional saves” logged in the East Central Region of Greater St. Louis in 2011. The region includes St. Louis City and County, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Pike, St. Charles, and Warren counties. To honor those involved in extraordinary lifesaving efforts, the East Central Region hosted its first Exceptional Life Saver Awards on May 18. Jones was at the awards celebration to honor representatives from all of the agencies who helped save his life.
“Exceptional saves” are characterized as life-saving efforts by emergency and medical responders in our community where a person was without a pulse and breathless and life was subsequently restored and the patient later able to leave the hospital.
Jones was in the hospital for more than a month and had a pacemaker implanted to restore his heart’s rhythm. This month, he was able to walk his daughter down the aisle for her wedding.
“We are very honored to be part of the “exceptional saves” awards ceremony,” says Rita Srum, nursing director of the Adult and Pediatric Emergency Departments at St. Anthony’s. “Every second counts in situations such as these. Mr. Jones’ daughter and the first responders helped save his life by beginning the appropriate measures and then getting him to the hospital. Mr. Jones’ care encompassed not only the emergency department, but also many of the services provided at St. Anthony’s. We are so pleased that he was able to leave the hospital, be part of his daughter’s wedding ceremony and continue to live his life as truly an “exceptional save.”
“It was so unbelievable,” Jones says. “Everyone clapped. It was an incredible memory. So many things happened at the right time to save me. I can’t thank St. Anthony’s and the ambulance and fire crews enough for all they did.”
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