Detroit paramedic treats heart-attack patient — while suffering heart attack

Nadine Kalinauskas

Detroit paramedic Joseph Hardman is a hero. He's also lucky to be alive.

Last Friday morning, Hardman was giving CPR to a man having a heart attack when he began suffering a heart attack himself.

"I didn’t need a machine to tell me that I was having a heart attack," Hardman told CBS Detroit. "Because all of the symptoms that present with a heart attack — I was pretty much having them all."

He finished caring for his patient, then alerted his partner that they would be taking two patients to the hospital.

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His partner drove both men to the 24/7 Cardiac Care Unit at the Detroit Medical Center.

Hardman "dropped his patient off alive while he was having a heart attack, then went to the ER, where they treated him immediately. He survived, and he’s in fact laying three beds over from the guy he brought into the hospital," Joe Barney, Hardman's union rep, told the Detroit Free Press.

Both heart attack sufferers had stents put in to clear the blockages in their arteries, 7 Action News reported.

Doctors said Hardman's blockage is in the "widow maker" artery. It's usually fatal.

Hardman's union president calls him both a hero and a miracle.

"If I hadn’t been in the position I was in, I would have been deceased," he told 7 Action News Monday.

The timing of his heart attack — inside an EMS unit, already transporting a patient to the hospital — saved his life.

Hardman hopes to return to work in a couple of months.

Hardman's patient is recovering well.