Meet Karl Floth

Karl has a new appreciation for EMS, bystander CPR after cardiac arrest.


After 24 years as a paramedic, Joe Stellwagon doesn’t take successful resuscitation of a cardiac arrest patient for granted. “When things go right, and you see the eyes blinking, it’s just a great feeling,” said Stellwagon, a paramedic with Johnson County MED-ACT in Overland Park, Kansas.

Stellwagon was among a team of community first responders called when Karl Floth’s heart stopped in July 2015. Karl and his wife, Susan, were driving to get ice cream when he suddenly felt lightheaded. “Then he just slumped over and started turning red and then purple,” said Susan, who was in the passenger’s seat. She got the car stopped and tried dialing 911, but after failing to get a signal, she jumped out of the car and waved for help.

A woman who had graduated nursing school a few days earlier jumped out of a car and started chest compressions, trading off with her husband and checking vital signs. A police officer soon arrived with an automated external defibrillator, or AED, followed by an EMS crew a few minutes later. Read the rest of Karl’s story here.

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