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'Christmas miracle' — Man credits EMTs for saving his life during heart attack on Christmas Day

Posted at 1:59 PM, Jan 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-18 13:59:56-05

LODI, Ohio — A local man is thanking his lucky stars in the new year after paramedics helped perform a Christmas miracle. Now, he’s got a message for anyone who might find themselves in a medical emergency.

What initially felt like heartburn turned out to be much worse, and if it weren’t for EMTs, Bob Vaccaro feels like his story might have a much different ending.

“If we would have waited 30 more minutes, I'm sure the outcome of this would have been quite a bit different,” Vaccaro said. “Sometimes we may forget how special these people are. But, boy, when you have an event like we my family had this Christmas, they're special people.”

Back on Christmas Day, Vaccaro was celebrating the holiday with his family. It seemed like any other holiday when suddenly something didn’t feel right.

“We had finished opening presents with the grandkids,” said his daughter, Elizabeth Ames. “We were kind of tinkering with toys and playing puzzles and a marble run, you know, and all of a sudden, the afternoon then changed course pretty quickly.”

Vaccaro thought it might be a good idea to get checked out. He hadn’t been feeling himself lately, so family members called for paramedics, and when they arrived, they realized Bob was likely suffering a heart attack.

“He was doing this snoring and respiration thing, and I looked over at the monitor and it showed V-fib (ventricular fibrillation), like your heart isn’t beating,” said Deante Taylor, the EMT who helped Bob that day.

Now that Bob is recovering, he wants people to be their own advocates for their health and closely monitor how they feel. If something feels wrong, they should speak up and get checked out by a doctor.

“Our family certainly believes it's a Christmas miracle. And Deante was the star of that,” Vaccaro said. “He's the one that showed up in his sled, the ambulance, I guess, on Christmas afternoon, you know, and came in and he got the whole ball going.

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