DAVIESS COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – When not at his home near Odon, you’ll often find Tom Miller working full-time as a paramedic. He’s been involved in emergency services for more than 20 years.
“I started out as part-time, then I ended up making a career out of it,” said Tom Miller.
Tom’s wife, Lana, is an advanced EMT. Married nearly 35 years, they’re partners on an ambulance service. Tom has also taught CPR for many years, even teaching his son TJ.
“I never thought I’d have to use it. I can tell you that,” said TJ Miller. “But very thankful, because he taught me right.”
And teaching TJ the right way to do CPR proved very important for Tom. Little did he know, that one day, TJ and Lana would help save his life.
“When they were telling me everything, I just couldn’t, couldn’t believe what happened,”
On September 20th, 2021, Lana woke up in the middle of the night and found Tom sitting up in bed.
“I said something to him and he didn’t respond. He suddenly fell back and he hit the pillow and he sat back up again,” explained Lana.
Recognizing something was terribly wrong, Lana immediately called 911. She also called TJ, who lives just down the road. She quickly made sure ambulance workers could get in the house and returned to the bedroom. That’s when she discovered, Tom was no longer breathing.
“I never thought that I would ever have to do CPR here at home,” said Lana. “It was very scary.”
TJ arrived and helped with CPR as well.
“Things happened so fast, you don’t really think,” added TJ.
An electrical problem with Tom’s heart sent him into cardiac arrest. When the emergency crew arrived, they shocked it.
“They said they had a heart rhythm back and they were helping him breathe,” said TJ.
Tom spent a week in the hospital. He now has a pacemaker and an implanted defibrillator for his heart problem. He’s also back at work and thankful, that despite not breathing for several minutes, he has no brain damage.
“The CPR kept the blood flowing and the oxygen going through my blood. I didn’t have any side effects from being down,” said Tom. “The CPR sustained me until the ambulance got here.”
He and the rest of the family encourage everyone to learn CPR because you never know whose life you might have to help save.