“For 20 minutes, they kept me alive!”

— Jerry Carter

December 19th started out as a typical evening for Jerry Carter (second from left). The 71-year-old part-time driver for O’Reilly Auto Parts was putting clothes in the dryer. “All of a sudden, I started to have chest pains and began to sweat,” Jerry remembers. Jerry’s wife, Diana, knew immediately something was wrong. “He was clammy and his skin had a gray color,” she says. “He looked awful.”

Diana rushed Jerry to the Emergency Department at Macon Community Hospital, about eight miles away. Charlie Gentry (left), Cheyenne Smith (seated) and Kayla West (right), along with Dr. David Goldberg, the ED physician on duty, were part of the emergency care team that immediately went to work, hooking Jerry up to an EKG. The situation was serious. “Jerry’s blood pressure was so low that the staff asked us to talk to him to try and keep him conscious,” Diana says. “That’s when we started to get scared.”

Then Jerry’s heart stopped. For 20 minutes, the ED team performed CPR and chest compressions to keep Jerry alive. When his condition finally stabilized enough, a LifeFlight air ambulance took Jerry to St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville.

“I’m just so thankful for what the ED team at Macon Community Hospital did to save my life,” Jerry says. “They just wouldn’t give up on me, and because of that commitment, I’m alive today!”