EMT Suffers Stroke While Driving Ambulance, Partner Saves His Life


Most people wouldn’t want to have a health scare while they’re on the job, but that’s exactly what happened to Chris Cabral, and it might be the only reason he’s still standing today.

Cabral and his partner Ray Berwick, Aetna Ambulance Emergency Medical Technicians, were out in their ambulance and Cabral was driving. When Cabral made a left turn, Berwick noticed something was a little off.

One of his arms didn’t seem to be cooperating and half of his face was drooping. Cabral didn’t even realize anything was happening, but Berwick knew what those signs meant.

“He recognized something wasn’t right,” Cabral said, according to WTIC-TV. “I was inches away from dying and my partner saved my life.”

“He looked at me and said ‘What’s wrong with you?’… I had no idea,” Cabral said.

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Berwick rushed Cabral to the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Hartford Hospital, getting him there in record time. It only took 30 minutes from noticing the stroke to Cabral getting medication, and within an hour he was in surgery.

Many people don’t realize they’re having a stroke, and with no one around to recognize the signs or help them, they can die or become seriously impaired because of how long it takes to get help.

Cabral acknowledged this, saying that “If I was home alone I wouldn’t have known anything was wrong. That’s the crazy part.”

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They discovered that there was a blood clot near Cabral’s carotid artery that was causing the problems. Without immediate attention, he could have died.

This all happened a month ago, and Cabral is now walking and talking — you wouldn’t know anything had happened if it weren’t for the story he tells.

“What better place to have a stroke than an ambulance. Just seeing him walking around…it’s awesome,” Berwick said.

While Cabral is still in physical therapy, he’s well on his way to recovery and plans to be back at Berwick’s side by March or April next year.

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The quick actions of the EMT were recognized in a ceremony where the president of the hospital reiterated the importance of the role of a first responder.

“It is a true miracle,” Cabral said. “There aren’t words to describe how grateful I am to everybody.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking