Saving Lives In and Out of the Hospital: Amazing Stories from Heroic Nurses

They say a nurse’s work is never done, and that couldn’t be more true of these inspiring healthcare providers. James “Jim” Ladouceur probably wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for Nurse Mindy Conway, from Rhode Island Hospital. She pulled over and stopped traffic when she saw the 49-year-old man lying on the sidewalk after suffering a heart attack. Conway raced to perform CPR, stabilizing the patient until he could be transported to a nearby hospital.

She’s just one of many nurses who have been praised recently for performing life-saving care outside of clinical settings. Discover their amazing stories.

Stopping Traffic in Rhode Island

Ladouceur was taking a bicycle trip with two of his friends when he suffered a major heart attack. John Grant, who works at a gas station across the street, ran out when he saw the man lying on the sidewalk.

He recalls, “”None of us knew CPR. Right as a nurse pulled up and asked if anyone needed help, he had stopped breathing and she jumped out of her car and hoped into action and brought this guy back from the dead three times while I made a 911 call.”

The nurse was Mindy Conway, who says she was out shopping with her husband off-duty when she passed Ladouceur on the road.

She said, “We didn’t know if he had been hit by a vehicle, so I supported his neck. I kept an eye on him and he stopped breathing. I checked for pulse and he didn’t have one, so I started chest compressions and told my husband to go to the car to get my mouth guard for breaths.”

Conway finally got a pulse as the paramedics arrived to take over. Ladouceur’s wife says he was perfectly healthy and that “there’s no reason for him to have had a heart attack,” but this is a reminder that older adults can be at risk, even if they lead an active, healthy lifestyle.

The 49-year-old is already off his breathing tube as he continues to recover in the hospital. Looking back on the situation, Conway commented, “Being credited with saving someone’s life is emotionally overwhelming, but gratifying. I’m just so happy that he is on the path to feeling better.”

Other Stories of Courage

  • Alexa Sequeira

Sequeira, MSN, RN, an emergency room nurse at Winchester Massachusetts Hospital, was praised for rushing to save a man’s life in the Boston area. She was on her way home from work when she passed two state troopers performing CPR on a pulseless driver.

Speaking to a local news reporter, Sequeira stated, “I noticed two state police officers that were pulled over and a man that was splayed out in the road, he appeared to be unresponsive. I slowed down, rolled down my window, said I was an ER nurse and if they needed any help, they said, ‘Yes please.’”

She worked with the officers to revive the man until paramedics arrived on the scene 12 minutes later. They transported him to Boston Medical Center where he is expected to make a full recovery, thanks in large part to Sequeria.

“In the midst of the pandemic it’s important to celebrate the small wins, this is a small win in the greater scheme of things but if you focus on lots and lots of these small wins we can get through this virus and come out much stronger on the other end,” she told reporters.

  • Sybil Calhoun

Calhoun, MSN, RN was recently named a Red Cross Good Samaritan Hero after saving a man’s life at a gym in Virginia. He was in the middle of an intense workout when he went into cardiac arrest. Luckily, Calhoun was on the scene to perform CPR until the manager came over with an AED to help revive the man.

  • Christine Schreiber

Schreiber, BSN, RN used a tourniquet to save a man’s life near the Portland, Maine area. The driver got into a nasty accident on his motorcycle when Schreiber, who works at Maine Medical Center, arrived on the scene. She applied a tourniquet to the man’s bleeding leg until an emergency response team could arrive. State police said she saved the 33-year-old’s life, who likely would have bled out otherwise.

On Guard and Ready to Serve

With elective procedures on hold, many patients have been staying away from hospitals and doctor’s offices amid the pandemic, which means more people are having heart attacks and strokes. 

Health experts say people are more than twice as likely to die from a heart attack during the COVID-19 pandemic because they aren’t going in for regular checkups or even to the hospital after experiencing heart trouble or related symptoms.

We can all learn something from these amazing providers. If you haven’t seen some of your patients around the office lately, get in touch and encourage them to come in for a checkup. Everyday pedestrians may be more at risk of heart attack and stroke as well, so be ready to save a life even if you aren’t at work.

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