Many residents have a special place in their hearts for Medic One, as do their families and friends. Here are but a few of the “life-saving stories” that are directly attributable to exceptional quality of emergency care services made possible by the Medic One Foundation. If you have a life-saving story to share, please click here.


Alan Thomas

By summer, Brenda and Alan were spending every day together. On one sunny July afternoon, they were picnicking at Brenda’s favorite beach when Alan’s heart stopped.

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Becky Cole

Becky was nearly nine months pregnant with her fourth child when her heart stopped.

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Lily James

What happened to then 7-year old Lily James on Lake Washington in Summer 2009 is almost unimaginable. In a split second, everything went completely and nightmarishly wrong. But then, the moment after tragedy struck, everything went completely and miraculously right.

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Tony Locati

We build our lives around relationships… Tony and Jennie Locati were great friends for 13 years. Their relationship survived two years in the Peace Corps, spending every minute of every day and night together while living in a tiny African village. It survived the birth of twins and the demands of parenting. And then, Tony died.

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Brett Daniel

Brett Daniel had a wonderful life. He and his wife, Sarah, were young, healthy and in love. But one morning last year, their life together nearly ended.

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Sue Nixon

On Valentine’s Day, Sue should have been at Serafina, singing love songs. But as she drove to a lunch meeting that morning, her heart stopped. Her breathing stopped. And her car kept going.

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Tracey Conway

Tracey Conway

When comic actress Tracey Conway collapsed during a live taping of the hit TV show “Almost Live,” audience members thought it was just part of the show. “A hundred people laughed at me. They assumed it was an actor’s pratfall,” Conway says. It wasn’t.

At a little after 10 p.m. on Jan. 21, 1995, Conway experienced sudden death cardiac arrest, an erratic heart arrhythmia that gives no warning and if untreated is virtually always fatal. “I had no breath, no blood pressure and no pulse.” The “Almost Live” cast knew Conway’s nose dive wasn’t in the script and thus began the chain of events that saved her life: a 911 call, citizen CPR from a volunteer firefighter who happened to be in the audience, a swift response from Medic One, airway ventilation and, ultimately, defibrillation.

At 10:19 p.m., after six shocks, Conway finally had a heartbeat again. She had literally died and come back to life.

I lost my only brother to a heart attack and it might possibly be because he lived in another state where they couldn’t give him the kind of emergency care he needed, when he needed it,” says Conway. “Every time a Medic One unit passes me on the street I say ‘God bless you.’ If it hadn’t been for them, I would be dead.”

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George Brace

Bank executive George Brace will always remember Aug. 4, 1990, and his evening at the cinema. But it wasn’t “Presumed Innocent” or Harrison Ford’s acting that made the night unforgettable.

“I’d been having mild chest pains for 30-45 days prior to Aug. 4, but I hadn’t taken them seriously,” recalls George. “I was an active tennis player, in good shape. But sitting in the Factoria theater, the pain hit again, much worse. I passed out and my wife yelled for help.”

Theater patrons called 911 and helped move George to the aisle. The movie was turned off. Thankfully, the movie was well attended and there were medical people in the audience, including a nurse, a pediatrician and a cardiologist.

“They were an absolute life-saver. They helped me until the Medic One team arrived. I was unconscious but I learned later that the paramedics made four attempts to re-start my heart using a defibrillator. That effort failed so they injected a drug directly into my heart muscle.”

The procedure worked, George was rushed to Overlake Hospital and underwent angioplasty treatment instead of surgery.

“My HDL levels were way out of whack and I was put on a course to remedy that.” George believes Seattle-area residents are extremely fortunate to have Medic One. “Medic One is the best in the country. These folks take real pride in what they do. They’re in the business of saving lives and you can absolutely count on them.”

Because of his experience, George has learned how importrant the Medic One Foundation is in guaranteeing the very best training and continuing education for Medic One personnel.

“The Medic One Foundation needs our support. I’d like to make people understand that this is every bit as important as police or fire protection. We all want this extraordinary level of training to continue, and we can ensure that it does by supporting the Medic One Foundation.”

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Ray Jensen

Ray Jensen

It was 11 p.m. on Dec. 25, 1987, that Ray Jensen began to feel a tingling sensation in his left arm. Ray’s wife Joan called 911, and a Medic One team was on the scene within five minutes. Ray was conscious and alert, but suddenly—with the paramedics looking on—Ray went into cardiac arrest. Joan remembers how the team sprang into action. “One medic literally jumped on Ray. He put his fists together and began banging on his chest. Another Medic moved in with electric paddles and they began delivering shocks to try and restart his heart. They were very calm, very confident—and they were working in such a confined space.” The team was successful and Ray was rushed to the hospital where he underwent bypass surgery. Recently, Joan wrote an emotional note to the Medic One Foundation:

“It has been 20 years since a Bellevue Medic One team gave my husband Ray back to me, our family and the two grandchildren that were born a few years later. Twenty years’ your gift to us, and the life that keeps on giving.”

Joan offers the following thought about the Medic One Foundation: “Why support the Foundation? It could happen to you. The money that goes to the Foundation goes to training the medics. This is vital. If that crew hadn’t been top notch, I might not have my husband with me today.”

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George Kuhla

There’s a lot George Kuhla can’t remember about the night of his stroke. But a few details are clear: “Fortunately for me, I had my portable phone in my hand when the stroke occurred. I was able to immediately call 911. Within five minutes the Medic One team was there. They asked me some questions, gave me a shot, and then we were on the way to the hospital. There was no wasted motion, it was just professionals doing their job with great efficiency.”

George was so impressed with the Medic One team that he wishes he could have been a Medic One paramedic. “If I were a young man I’d like to be in the Medic One program. Definitely. We are so fortunate in this region to have that caliber of emergency personnel.”

Through his experience, George has learned that it is the Medic One Foundation that makes such elite paramedic training possible. And he urges his friends and relatives to lend their support. “I would not be alive today if it weren’t for Medic One.”

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Kayla Burt

Kayla Burt

Twenty-year-old Kayla Burt will never forget New Year’s Eve 2002.

Burt, a sophomore guard on the University of Washington basketball team, was quietly ringing in the new year with five teammates at a Seattle home.

“There was a practice scheduled at 8:30 a.m. the next morning—so we weren’t partying. We were just sitting around, watching movies and talking.”

Burt and Loree Payne were in Burt’s room watching the 11 o’clock news when Burt said she felt lightheaded. Moments later she rolled off the bed. She was gasping for breath and turning blue. Shortly after that, her heart stopped.

Burt’s teammates rushed to her aid. One dialed 911. “The Medic One dispatcher Dan Stillwell was unbelievable. He calmed my friends down. He figured out what was going on and told them how to do CPR.”

Thanks to research funded by the Medic One Foundation that proved the value of training dispatchers in telephone CPR, Dan Stilwell was well prepared and knew exactly what to do.

“The training that these people have is amazing,” says Burt. “They can save the life of someone you love. People don’t really think about it until it happens to them, but it’s unreal. I’m here today because of what Dan Stillwell did over the phone. The way he handled my friends—they had panic in their voices. But he calmed them down. Together they saved my life.”

Kayla adds, “I’m extremely grateful every time I see a Medic One vehicle go by. It reminds me of my situation, and I know they’re going to get where they’re going and do everything they can to help the person in need. It’s a powerful feeling.”

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