DAVIESS COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — When not at his home near Odon, Indiana, you’ll often find Tom Miller working full time as a paramedic. He’s been involved in emergency services for more than 20 years.
“I started out as part-time, then I ended up making a career out of it,” he said.
His wife, Lana, is an advanced EMT. Married for nearly 35 years, they’re partners on an ambulance service. Tom Miller has also taught CPR for many years, and long ago, made sure his son, TJ, was properly trained.
But teaching his son the right way to perform CPR proved an invaluable skill. Little did Tom Miller know that one day, his wife and son would help save his life.
On Sept. 20th, 2021, Lana Miller woke up in the middle of the night and found her husband sitting up in bed.
“I said something to him, and he didn’t respond. He suddenly fell back and he hit the pillow and he sat back up again,” she explained.
Recognizing something was wrong, she immediately called 911. She also called their son, TJ, who lives just down the road. She quickly made sure ambulance workers could get in the house and returned to the bedroom. That’s when she discovered her husband was no longer breathing. She would later learn that an electrical problem with his heart had sent him into cardiac arrest.
Lana Miller administered CPR until their son arrived to help. When the emergency crew arrived, they used a defibrillator to restore Tom Miller’s heartbeat.
“I never thought that I would ever have to do CPR here at home,” said Lana Miller. “It was very scary.”
Tom Miller spent a week in the hospital after the incident. He now has a pacemaker and an implanted defibrillator for his heart problem. He’s also thankful that he suffered no brain damage, despite not breathing for several minutes — an outcome he attributes to his family’s knowledge of CPR.
“The CPR kept the blood flowing and the oxygen going through my blood. I didn’t have any side effects from being down,” he said. “The CPR sustained me until the ambulance got here.”
He and the rest of the family now encourage everyone to learn CPR, just in case they’re ever faced with a similar situation.
“I never thought I’d have to use it, I can tell you that,” TJ Miller said of the training his father provided years ago. “But [I’m] very thankful, because he taught me right.”