Chesapeake heart attack survivor reunites with those who saved him

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Chesapeake man is reuniting with the firefighters, police officers and medical staff who gave him a wonderful gift: Life.

On Jan. 7, 2017, Robert Amoss suffered a heart attack. He says it happened after he dropped his wife off at work in about 10 inches of snow. He began to have intense chest pains.

“As I pulled over, it felt really bad. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest and I said, ‘I got to get out of here,'” said Amoss.  “I did not think I was going to make it. I kept saying, ‘I’m going [and told the dispatchers to] let my wife and kids that I won’t make it.'”

Crews from Chesapeake Fire Station #6 in the Fentress section of the City, were dispatched to assist Amoss. Shortly after the fire department arrived, they confirmed he was having a heart attack with a 12 Lead Electrocardiogram.

They alerted Chesapeake Regional Medical Center to ready the Cardiac Catheterization Lab for his arrival. While en route to the hospital, Amoss went into cardiac arrest and required a defibrillation to restore his heart rhythm.

“We had to extricate him through a window onto a backboard,” said Firefighter Curtis Williamson. “On the way to the hospital, he went into cardiac arrest, but we were able to shock him one time. He was having a major heart attack.”

At the hospital, Amoss was under the care of Cardiologist Neerav Sheth.

“After speaking extensively with the staff and his wife and his kids, I said, ‘He’s sick, the chances are slim, but if he has a chance, this is the best chance he has to get to the lab.'”

And it worked. Amoss was transferred to the intensive care unit. He got a pacemaker and he’s back to golfing at the range and driving the message home: “If you have any type of pain or feelings in your chest, don’t be afraid of the doctor or call 911. It could save your life and maybe make it easier than what I went through.”