WYOMING – Collaboration Across Agencies ($5.9 million grant)

April 13, 2017, was a typical day for Enrico Jay Foss, 53. He came home from work, did his P90X workout, and ate dinner with his wife, Francine. After dinner, Jay walked toward the bathroom, but came back to sit on their dining room bench, complaining that he didn’t feel well. Before Francine could respond, Jay had slumped to the side – eyes fixed and limp. His wife quickly called 911. Like 70 percent of Americans, Francine didn’t know CPR.

When Francine’s call came into the Casper Public Safety Communications Center at 8:07 p.m., the dispatcher answered and sent ambulance, fire, sheriff, and Wyoming Life Flight responders to the scene. Another dispatcher then talked Francine through 13 excruciating minutes of CPR. Natrona County Sheriff’s Deputy Sheets was first to arrive. He jolted Jay with an AED and resumed CPR. The Wyoming Medical Center (WMC) paramedics and Natrona County Fire District Squad Seven arrived soon after to assist. Helicopter Life Flight One arrived about 10 minutes later, and quickly took off with Jay to WMC, arriving at 9:02 p.m. – less than an hour after Francine first called 911.

Jay had a ventricular fibrillation —a quiver in the lower chambers of his heart — causing acute myocardial infarction. It is the most serious cardiac rhythm disturbance because the heart cannot pump blood and goes into arrest. Jay required more AED shocks on his way to WMC to keep his heart going, and his first electrocardiogram (also known as an ECG, and a process where electrodes are placed on the patient’s chest to assess the conduction of the heart’s electrical conduction system) was delayed because his heart stopped altogether. But when he was rushed to the cardiac catheterization (cath) lab, where procedures to open blocked arteries in the heart are carried out, his blocked artery was opened within 49 minutes.

As WMC’s cardiovascular service line coordinator, Mica Elmore, R.N., has seen her share of heartbreaking stories. This one was different, and one the team will all remember, she said. In all, nearly 30 people from five different agencies worked to save Jay’s life, collaboration that was made possible by Mission: Lifeline and Helmsley funding.

“On April 13, the emergency services in Natrona County all came together. Francine Foss called 911 and dispatch instructed her through CPR until emergency responders arrived. Jay Foss was transferred to Wyoming Medical Center still clinging to life. It took the team from the ER to the heart cath lab to save him,” she said. “It all happened in less than two hours. I can’t think of a better example of how the emergency services in Natrona County work together.”

Read the full story and view photos on the Wyoming Medical Center website.