On August 13, 2014, Robert Grams found his wife in cardiac arrest after hearing a strange thud. The Ypsilanti man immediately called 911 and spoke with Timothy Wilson—a Huron Valley Ambulance dispatcher. With the help of Wilson’s step-by-step CPR instructions, Grams was able to save his wife.
Exactly one year later, Karen Grams surprised Wilson with a big hug to celebrate the anniversary of her survival. She thanked both Wilson and her husband and presented each with awards from the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association that celebrated their contributions towards saving the life of a sudden cardiac arrest patient.
The three had kept in touch and made tentative plans for Wilson and Robert Grams to go bowling.
Karen Grams said that no one was able to determine the exact cause of her cardiac arrest, but that she made positive changes to her diet and life. She even takes a yoga class with her husband. Karen supports 5 K runs to bring awareness to sudden cardiac arrest, although she can’t run them yet.
Robert Grams says that he worries a lot since that day and was surprised to learn that 911 dispatchers rarely hear back from the people they have helped.
It was an eventful year for Wilson who has gotten married and continues to help 911 callers. In fact, earlier in the day he helped a couple in a car deliver their baby before an ambulance could arrive.
Karen Grams was lucky her husband was there to call 911. According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, approximately 326,200 people experience sudden cardiac arrest each year, and 90% of them die.