Overland Park Regional Medical Center will reunite First Responders and emergency physicians with Gary Wilson, Training Chief of the Overland Park Fire Department who experienced shoulder and arm pains while having lunch at home one day in April.

“A Great Save allows us to recognize the remarkable collaborative efforts made each day in delivering high-quality, compassionate healthcare to patients like Gary Wilson,” says Kevin J. Hicks, Overland Park Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Officer. “Uniting patients with their care team is a powerful example of the vital continuum of healthcare—and this particular Great Save is even more significant because it’s a First Responder who experienced the rapid response by his own team.”

“Every single day our emergency team has the privilege of working in tandem with the area’s First Responders who represent some of healthcare’s most skilled professionals and most compassionate hearts,” says Overland Park Center Trauma Medical Director Dr. Don Fishman, M.D. “Their work in helping patients is nothing short of heroic. And patients like Gary are incredibly inspiring to us, reinforcing why we’re in the life-saving business.”

Overland Park Regional Medical Center—a Level II Trauma Center—is part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider. For more information, visit oprmc.com.

Gary Wilson, 60, Heart Attack

Wilson was enjoying lunch at home with his wife in April when he began to experience shoulder and arm pains. A longtime first responder who has been with the Overland Park Fire Department for 11 years, Wilson initially resisted calling an ambulance, but his wife and daughter suggested making an emergency call to 9-1-1, knowing it was probably a heart attack. As it turns out, OPFD Station 44 quickly showed up at the front door.

Once Wilson was transported to Overland Park Regional Medical Center, he was whisked to the cath lab where interventional cardiologist George Pierson, M.D., PhD, FACC, placed a stent.

“I do have a family history of heart problems with both my father and brother having heart attacks in their early 50s, Wilson says. “I figured since I made it through those years I didn’t have to worry about it as much. Also, as an esophageal cancer survivor I’ve had echocardiograms every three months for the last two years and each time they come back clear.”

Wilson’s blood pressure and cholesterol were also under control and he takes medications, prescribed by Dr. Pierson, as needed.

“The most amazing thing, besides have my own workmates bring me to Overland Park Regional Medical Center by ambulance, is that I was in the hospital for 26 hours and back at work in 48 hours,” he says. “ I got to see, firsthand, the continuum of an emergency call and what happens in the field and at the hospital. This is also a testament not to ignore heart attack signs or symptoms and the early intervention that helps save lives.”

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