Man meets his 'A-Team' after suffering heart attack

Man meets his 'A-Team' after suffering heart attack »Play Video
Raoul Meekcom met the people who helped saved his life during a heart attack, including the 911 dispatcher, Rita McQuiston, center, who walk Meekcom's wife, Sandra, left, through CPR.

TUALATIN, Ore. - When Raoul Meekcom's wife, Sandra, called 911 her husband was clinically dead after suffering a heart attack.

But Washington County 911 dispatcher, Rita McQuiston, calmed her down and coached her through five minutes of chest compressions. McQuiston was just the first of dozens of people who did all the right things to keep Raoul's heart beating.

Sandra found her 62-year-old husband on the bathroom floor, not breathing and in cardiac arrest two weeks ago.

For the first time Thursday she got to meet McQuiston who coached her through that CPR.

Sandra and Raoul also got to meet the Tualatin police officers, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue paramedics, the emergency room doctors and nurses who all kept his heart beating – shocking him at least eight times at the hospital alone.

Doctors didn't expect him to make it through the night.

Raoul doesn't remember a thing from that day, but the 911 call fills in some details. He listened to part of that dramatic call Thursday, surrounded by his wife and the first responders who saved his life.

"My husband's having a heart attack," Sandra frantically told McQuiston.

"We're going to start CPR on him. I'm going to tell you what to do," McQuiston told Sandra.

McQuiston, who has been a dispatcher for 30 years, wouldn't let Sandra quit and kept coaching her through the CPR until the professionals could take over.

First, it was Officer Chet Lemon: "I remember I told her to get out of the way, and I took over chest compressions."

Then battalion Chief Mark Cross stepped in to help followed by paramedic Jeff Hunter and then finally Dr. Jerry Tran.

"This is the longest CPR code I've ever been involved with," he said.

What made meeting everybody even more special was that Raoul and Sandra celebrated their twelfth wedding anniversary the same day.

"Without the police department initially being there and then the paramedics, and then the ambulance, and then the professionals at the hospital and everybody's dedication to it, there's not enough gratitude in the world to express and thank them enough," Raoul said.

Not only did Raoul survive, he showed no mental or physical problems after the heart attack. He said he has just a little soreness in his chest and some bruising around his ribs from 40 minutes of CPR.

(Click the arrow beneath "Listen" to hear the 911 call)