Harpersville firemen save 33-year-old manPublished 4:12pm Monday, May 23, 2011
By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer
HARPERSVILLE – Marvin Lathon was visiting his girlfriend in Harpersville when the pains in his right side became unbearable. He turned into the Harpersville Fire Department when he realized he couldn’t make it to a hospital, and the firemen became heroes.
“I was having pains on my right side. I’ve had them before, but they went away. This time I needed to deal with them,” Lathon, 33, said. “I was staying with my girlfriend in Harpersville. We tried to make it to Alabaster’s hospital, but I was hurting too bad. We stopped at the fire station to get them to look at me.”
According to a press release from Harpersville Director of Public Safety David Latimer, Lathon knocked on the fire department door at 6:50 a.m. and complained of chest pains. The firemen connected Lathon to an EKG and started an IV.
“Two guys checked my blood pressure, and it was real high,” Lathon said. “In my right arm, a guy tried to get blood to come out, but it didn’t come out. They put the IV in my left hand. I passed out, and I can’t remember anything.”
The release stated Lathon became unresponsive.
“During the evaluation of the patient, he became unresponsive and his heart ceased to exhibit a normal, life sustaining rhythm. The EKG showed that this situation lasted for approximately 63 seconds,” the release read. “Shock was administered bringing the patient’s heart back to a normal rhythm.”
Lathon later learned the chest pains were due to a clogged artery.
“From my understanding, I know they shocked me once, but I don’t know if it was more than once,” Lathon said. “The ambulance took me straight to Brookwood. I went straight into surgery. They put a stint into one of my arteries that was 90 percent clogged.”
Harpersville Firefighter and Paramedic Richard Blankenship supervised the ministrations conducted by the Harpersville firemen. Blakenship earned his certification as a state certified fire fighter when he graduated from rookie school on April 29, 2011. According to the release, Firefighter Blankenship said, “This is why we become medics and fire fighters – to help people – there’s no feeling like bringing someone back like that.”
Lathon said he thanks God for the firemen.
“Thank God those firemen were there for me. Those guys could’ve gone into panic mode, but they didn’t,” he said. “Thank God for them.”