Two young, local residents and members of the League City EMS Department are being recognized for coming together to save a man’s life. On April 2, James Hackney visited the South Shore Fitness Center to play tennis with his wife. While playing, Hackney said he felt slight heartburn, then shortly after, collapsed on the court. He had suffered from a heart attack.
“One of my main arteries to the heart was fully blocked,” said Hackney.
At the time of the incident, two League City residents ,18 year-old Cristian Quijano and 22 year-old Bailey Jones, were working at the Fitness Center and quickly ran to Hackney’s aid.
“I saw him lying on the court and he wasn’t responding,” said Jones.
When they discovered he did not have a pulse, they quickly called 911 and took turns performing CPR until an ambulance arrived.
“The decisions that we made at that moment are what would help keep him alive, if we hadn’t taken the initiative to act, the outcome would be different,” said Quijano.
When EMS paramedics arrived, they acted swiftly and performed advanced cardiac life support protocols to bring Hackney back to life. He was transported to a hospital, where it was later determined that as a result of the heart attack, he suffered from a brain seizure, a punctured lung, pneumonia, and even coded twice.
“I was unconscious and in pretty bad shape,” said Hackney.
He spent five days in the hospital fighting for his life and regained consciousness one week later. He is now home and recovering, but doctors say had it not been for the quick actions of Quijano and Jones, or the response from EMS paramedics, Hackney would not have survived the heart attack.
Quijano and Jones were recently recognized by League City Police Department’s Chief Gary Ratliff for their heroic efforts and courage and both received the departments “Life Saving Award.” The two say they now, more than ever, understand the importance of being CPR certified and encourage others to do so. EMS personnel who responded to Hackney were also awarded the department’s “Medical Coin” for helping save Hackney’s life.
“Had it not been for them, I would’ve been dead. I now get another chance at life.”