Nick Hoffman saved my life. He’s an emergency medical person at the Mt Morris fire station. How did he save my life? I had a heart attack at home on Sunday, 4/22. But I didn’t think it was a heart attack. I thought it was a stomach gas attack. Gas-X and Mylanta didn’t help, so I limped across the street to the fire station, to see if they had Alka-Seltzer. I couldn’t drive to the supermarket because of pain.
Nick was on duty. He explained that the fire station had no Alka-Seltzer. And then something very important happened. He could have shrugged and sent me home with my supposed stomach gas pain, so that he could return to whatever he was doing. But instead he seemed very concerned about me, and suggested that I might be having a heart attack. He asked if he could do an EKG. I said okay, followed him to the ambulance where the EKG was, and lay down.
Nick peered at squiggly lines on the monitor, and said something like: “It looks like you’re having a heart attack.” I insisted that I only was experiencing unusually terrible stomach gas pains, which were influencing the EKG, although I had no idea what I was talking about, as often is the case.
Nick recommended that I go to the nearest emergency room and get checked out. “Your heart is acting real funny,” he said. I replied that it was acting funny because of gas pain.
Finally I gave in, because I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. Another emergency medical person named Breanna Hoffman (no relation to Nick) drove the ambulance to the CGH emergency room, where it was determined that I actually was having a heart attack. So the nurses wheeled me off to the cardiac lab, where I underwent an angiogram and received two stents.
Afterwards, a nurse informed me that heart attack victims often refuse to admit they’re having heart attacks.
The point I want to make is that Nick could have taken the easy way. He could have accepted my stomach gas theory and politely brushed me off. It would have been easier for him to hang out at the fire station instead of dealing with a cranky old man and riding to Sterling on a Sunday Morning. But he chose to be pro-active, to investigate further. He seemed very compassionate and well trained. I’m very grateful to him, his trainers, and Breanna the ambulance driver, for saving my life.