Wilmington man meets paramedics who saved his life hours before hurricane


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —¬†Imagine getting ready for a hurricane and then suddenly seeing your life flash before your eyes. That’s what happened to Eric and Mimi Marquis.

On Thursday, they said “thank you” to the first responders who saved Eric’s life.

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“It’s not something I’d thought about a lot before,” Eric said. “I’ve always respected the people that do this kind of work. But now every time I hear a siren, I stop and think about it.”

Not too long ago, that siren was for him. Eric will never forget the day his life almost came to an end.

“When I turned around to ask him, I said, ‘What condition was he in when you guys got there?’ He goes, ‘Oh, he was dead,'” Mimi said.

Just hours before Hurricane Florence made landfall, Mimi found her husband unconscious in their living room. He had suffered a heart attack.

In a matter of minutes, paramedics were on scene and ultimately saved Eric’s life.

“The presenting rhythm this patient particularly had, we have about a 50 percent success rate walking out of the hospital neurologically intact,” Paramedic Chris Grace Jr. said.

Now more than seven months later, there were nothing but happy tears at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

The couple met the paramedics for the first time since Eric’s heart attack.

“If not for them, he wouldn’t be here,” Mimi said. “Very, very grateful for everything.”

The gratitude means even more to these first responders.

“We don’t do this job for the pat on the back, but it is nice to meet somebody who we were able to help,” Grace said. “Especially, in probably the worst time of his life.”

Grace says they never stopped thinking about Eric, and Eric will never stop thinking about them either.

“I have nothing but love in my heart for all the people that took care of me,” Eric said.

Eric spent five weeks in the hospital. He says he has been doing well ever since he was released.

The couple really wanted to thank the 911 dispatcher who helped keep Mimi calm, but unfortunately, she no longer works with New Hanover County.

The couple also says they are so thankful for all the staff at the hospital for their dedication during that time.