"Is the baby breathing?"
Zach Malwitz was 19 when he went into cardiac arrest in the parking lot of a CVS pharmacy on April 3, 2014. His heart stopped two more times that day, and each time it did, two paramedics resuscitated him.
On Wednesday, Malwitz, now 21, met the men who saved his life.
“I don’t know what to say—I’m shaking real bad right now,” Malwitz told MedStar paramedics Eddie Fuller and Tim Statum.
Malwitz, who lives in North Richland Hills, thanked Fuller and Statum in person for the first time Wednesday during a ceremony at MedStar headquarters in west Fort Worth.
Two mothers were also there to meet the MedStar dispatchers who talked them through baby deliveries over the phone in May.
Allison Marquardt was with her baby boy, Augustine, while Ashlie Williams brought along her baby girl, Carter.
Marquardt was home alone the morning of May 13 when she went into labor.
MedStar dispatcher Kate Gillinger talked Marquardt through the delivery, and Augustine arrived healthy.
Four days later, on May 17, Williams went into labor at her home about 3:15 a.m. Her mother called 911 and was connected with dispatcher Jamey Clark.
Clark, who thought the call would be routine, tried to keep Williams and her mother calm, thinking paramedics would arrive before the baby. Then Williams’ mother, Debbie Tuley, saw Carter on her way.
The baby’s coming. The water has broke and the baby is coming.
Debbie Tuley to a MedStar dispatcher in May, when her daughter was giving birth
“The baby’s coming,” Tuley told Clark. “The water has broke and the baby is coming.”
At times, Tuley sounded worried on the call. But she said Clark’s clear instructions calmed the process.
“Everything just went one step after another,” Tuley said. “It was amazing how it was all just under control.”
Carter arrived safely with her mom laying on the bathroom floor.
“We actually call her the bathroom baby,” Williams said.
Malwitz, who nearly the died before the MedStar paramedics saved him two years, said he often thinks about how emergency workers deal with similar experiences on a regular basis.
“I couldn’t imagine doing it,” he said. “I care for everyone —I try to, at least. And it sure seems like they do. But they lose a lot of people, and they win a lot of people. I couldn’t do that. My heart’s not big enough to be able to accept that you did everything you could and you still lost someone.”