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Grateful Heart Attack Survivor to Meet Off-Duty Cardiac Nurse, Volunteer Firefighter That Saved Him
01/15/2014

FORT WORTH, Texas — Tim Grubb calls it “incredible luck” that he survived a recipe for disaster: he suffered a massive heart attack while driving down the highway, lost control of his truck and landed in a ditch — and an off-duty first responder and cardiac nurse happened to take notice.

Lauren Easter, Tim Grumm and Danny Cook
Lauren Easter, Tim Grumm and Danny Cook
Click photo to download hi-res image

“I’m so glad that I didn’t hit or kill anyone,” the 49-year-old Benbrook resident said. “It’s time to start counting my blessings.”

Danny Cook, a volunteer firefighter for the Cresson Fire Department, saw Grubb’s truck fly off Highway 377 in Benbrook on November 12. He pulled over, extricated Grubb from his vehicle and immediately began administering life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Shortly after, Lauren Easter, a nurse in the cardiovascular intensive care unit at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, was dropping her husband’s dry cleaning off near the scene of the accident. When she noticed some trees and a fire hydrant knocked over, she went to investigate, finding Cook in the ditch with Grubb. She quickly climbed down to help.

“I’ve always wondered how well I would do in a medical emergency outside the hospital environment, where I expect things like that to happen,” she said. “It came easy to me — I was thinking clearly and I felt prepared.”

When a Benbrook police officer arrived at the scene, Easter asked to use his portable defibrillator because she couldn’t feel Grubb’s pulse. He was “clinically dead,” she said, and the defibrillator advised her to give him a shock that would restart his heartbeat.

By the time the ambulance arrived, Grubb was conscious and breathing on his own.

“Getting to him quickly and immediately giving CPR was critical,” Easter said. “Danny and I improved his outcome.”

The ambulance took Grubb to Texas Health Fort Worth where he was admitted to the hospital’s cardiac intensive care unit — coincidentally, the same unit where Easter works.

“I had a feeling that he would be here,” Easter said. “I think this is the best place for him to be.”

Grubb spent more than a week at Texas Health Fort Worth. He underwent quadruple bypass surgery and received an implanted defibrillator, a device that can automatically shock an erratically beating heart back to a normal rhythm.

“Mr. Grubb’s heart was in bad shape,” said Dr. Richard Vigness, cardiovascular surgeon on the medical staff at Texas Health Fort Worth. “On top of severe artery blockages, he suffered from an irregular heartbeat at risk for slipping into a deadly rhythm. You could say both the plumbing and the electrical for his heart needed fixed. He’s very lucky his rescuers found him and administered CPR so quickly. They saved his life.”

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is 724-bed, Magnet-designated regional referral center that has served the residents of Tarrant County since 1930. The hospital’s services include cardiovascular services, high-risk and routine obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics and sports medicine, neonatal intensive care, and trauma/emergency medicine. Texas Health Fort Worth is also home to the 100-bed Texas Health Harris Methodist Heart Center. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Fort Worth has more than 4,000 employees, 200 volunteers and nearly 1,000 physicians practicing on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/FortWorth.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 25 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, Huguley Memorial Medical Center, Texas Health Physicians Group, outpatient facilities, behavioral health and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

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