During one fateful night, 51-year-old Rick Armijo was at his Plano home when he all of a sudden went into cardiac arrest (via NBC DFW).
Armijo's wife and stepson discovered him on the floor, prompting them to call 911. The Plano 911 operator on the other end of the line proceeded to guide the stepson through the administration of CPR before a police officer arrived to help (via Plano Star Courier).
Plano Fire-Rescue paramedics would appear on-scene and continue the resuscitation efforts, before ultimately making the decision to call the ECMO team at Medical City Plano.
ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) is an advanced life-support system that takes over circulatory and respiratory functions when an individual's lungs and heart are not working the way they should and allows them to rest, according to Medical City Fort Worth.
Plano Fire-Rescue and Medical City Plano have come together, as part of a partnership, to be able to administer ECMO on local residents who require it.
How the program — which launched in December 2022 — works is Plano Fire-Rescue paramedics first determine whether or not ECMO is necessary for a situation. If it is, the paramedics will then contact Medical City Plano to send over its ECMO squad, which is what occurred in the case of Rick Armijo (via Plano Star Courier).
Armijo credits the program for saving his life that day, and publicly thanked everyone involved (via NBC DFW).
"I feel like I'm extremely lucky, lucky to be able to lead a normal life because of the first responders, responders and the medical team here in Plano,” said Armijo to NBC DFW. “They are the reason I'm standing here today. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart."