Some jobs, by definition, require doing good deeds. But even so, sometimes these everyday do-gooders show such extraordinary dedication that the press and the public must take notice. Such was the case last Friday, when Detroit paramedic Joseph Hardman was doing CPR on a man who had a heart attack while transporting him to the Detroit Medical Center's Harper-Hutzel Hospital. In the middle of the CPR, Hardman realized he was suffering from a coronary, too, but he kept going.
While seeing the unidentified man was admitted to the emergency room, Hardman, 40, did tell his partner, the ambulance driver, that he needed to be checked in himself, according to the local CBS affiliate's report. Hardman said he knew from his chest pains and heavy sweating that he was suffering from a heart attack. "I didn't need a machine to tell me that," he said. "All the symptoms that present with a heart attack - I was pretty much having them all."
Both Hardman and the man he saved were treated in the same unit, only a few beds away. Both Hardman and the patient are doing fine. In speaking to CBS, Hardman was humble. "That's why we do what we do - because that's what we live for," he said. "That's what EMS is: to go from a state of death or near death to watching the person walk out of the hospital with their family several days later."
Both Hardman and the man had identical stents put in to remove the blockages. In speaking to ABC News, Hardman said he talked to the patient at the hospital. And while the patient has declined interviews with the press, the patient told Hardman he was recovering well.
Not surprisingly, the reaction on twitter has been overwhelmingly effusive. Hardman has been called a "hero" by many, including fellow emergency medical workers.
According to Hardman, his life was only saved because he happened to be headed to the hospital's Cardiac Care Unit when his heart attack began. "If I hadn't been in the position I was in, I would have been deceased," he told the local ABC affiliate.
His doctors agree that even though he was suffering from a heart attack, he was relatively fortunate. His doctor Michael Brown told ABC the odds of his dropping off a patient to the cardiac care unit while suffering from his own heart attack were "one in a million."