A local man and his wife credit the Excelsior Springs Hospital emergency room staff for saving his life and expressed their thankfulness during the hospital’s annual dinner Thursday, Oct. 17.

Nancy Baker said an ambulance brought her husband of 49-1/2 years to the ESH emergency room after a third-degree heart block caused his heart rate to drop to a non-life sustaining 14 beats per minute.

“Thankfully (we have) this group, this community that you have has developed, a hospital that a lot of small country places to not have,” she said. “That is that you have an emergency room, an emergency system and emergency professionals that know how to save people’s lives.”

Chuck and Nancy Baker speak during the hospital foundation’s dinner.

Chuck and Nancy Baker speak during the hospital foundation’s dinner. Paramedics rushed Chuck to the Excelsior Springs Hospital after he experienced a third-degree heart block. The Bakers credit ESH staff for saving Chuck’s life.

Chuck Baker said he volunteers his time at the 300 acres his church owns. He said he remembers contemplating how he could cut the weeds in a deep ditch. After that, he blacked out.

Nancy said members of the community saw his seemingly abandoned tractor and stopped to see if they could assist in any way. They did not see Chuck. His fellow volunteers did not know anything was amiss. Without those good Samaritans, Chuck could have laid in the field and died, she said.

After Chuck arrived at the ESH emergency room, Dr. Brad Hoffman and the nursing team immediately began providing life-saving measures. After stabilizing him, ESH staff transferred him via Life Flight to Liberty hospital.

Elisabeth Fostich, director of medical/surgical and emergency services, described Nancy as “completely overwhelmed with gratitude for putting ‘everyone in the right place at the right time,’ and wanted to thank ESH team for their ‘exceptional response that saved my husband’s life.’”

“I am overwhelmed with pride for this team,” Fostich said. “This is why we do what we do.”

The Bakers attended the hospital’s foundation dinner last week, where they dined with the team who saved Chuck’s life.

Nancy said she also wanted to thank Fostich for implementing mock code blues, preparing the ESH staff for Chuck’s emergency.

Chuck said he simply wanted to thank ESH for allowing him to be at the dinner ... without them, he said, he would not have been able to be there at all.

“Nancy and I will be eternally grateful to the employees of the emergency room and we want to acknowledge their training and professionalism,” he said. “That’s why I’m here.”

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