NEW PALESTINE — It was a day Shirley Ross will never forget. Shirley’s husband, Patrick Ross, was cutting grass on Aug. 16 when he started feeling poorly. Before long, he was in deep trouble, so Shirley called 911. It was one of the best calls she’s ever made, as it ended up saving her husband’s life following the “widow maker” heart attack he suffered.

Shirley said officials from Sugar Creek Township Fire Station 45, 600W, New Palestine, arrived within minutes of the 911 call and saved her husband’s life.

“They acted swiftly, drilling into his shoulder and applying the Lucas machine to his chest,” Shirley said. “Within minutes, they had him on a gurney and were loading him into the ambulance.”

Patrick told his wife it was during those first few minutes, when he saw her, that he thought it was going to be the last time he would ever see her again. The crews plan was to take Patrick to Community North Hospital, but as she was following the emergency unit, Shirley lost sight of them.

“While driving west on I-70 toward Post Road, I received a phone call from Lt. Tony Bratcher letting me know that the ambulance had to divert to Greenfield Regional Hospital due to the seriousness of Patrick’s condition,” Shirley said. “This was the single-most critical decision in saving Patrick.”

Little did Shirley know the ambulance also had to stop at Sugar Creek Township Fire Station 42 to get additional help due to the fact the crew kept losing Patrick. He was revived numerous times, shocked approximately 10 times, before arriving at Hancock Regional Hospital.

“When I arrived at the hospital, the ER doctors had already shocked him back several more times before they could prepare to take him to the cath lab,” Shirley said. “I was allowed to see him for a short moment but, in that time, his heart had to be shocked again.”

In the cath lab, Patrick received care by cardiac surgeon Dr. Hiroko Noda-Heiny, Shirley said.

“The care was very quick and thorough,” she said. “Everyone was attentive to our family during the crisis but focused extreme care on Patrick.”

The surgeon later told Shirley that Patrick suffered a “Widow Maker” heart attack, which is not usually survived.

“If anyone had mis-stepped along the way, he would not have survived,” Shirley said. “The call to 911 was made at 2:31 p.m. and at 4 p.m. Patrick was being moved to his room.”

“We can’t sing our praises loud enough for Fire Station 45, C Company, paramedics Derek Simmermon, Nick Bowlby, Teddy York, and Lt. Julie Wenning, the assistance of Fire Station 42, Dr. Hiroko Noda-Heiny and the many nurses and care team at Hancock Regional Hospital,” Shirley said. “Because of everyone involved, my husband is alive and well today!”

The couple stopped past Fire Station 45 Tuesday around lunch and delivered pizza, as well as some homemade cookies, to thank the fire crew for their life-saving service.