Woman survives cardiac arrest

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(WILX) - Carole Custer, a native of Perrinton, Michigan wasn't feeling well one day back in May.

She was experiencing symptoms of nausea and vomiting. She was also experiencing arm pain that she thought might be due to her arthritis.

She didn't know it at the time, but what she was experiencing were symptoms of a heart attack.

Custer's grandson was with her at the time and he gave her some aspirin and called 911.

"The first responder came and he said how come you didn't call 911? And I said, I don't know why. He said 'lady you're having a heart attack'," said Custer.

While in the ambulance Custer went into cardiac arrest and she doesn't remember much of the ride. Thankfully a group of paramedics was able to save her.

"We did have to shock her one time, said Joel Ball a paramedic with Mobile Medical Response.

Ball says it's not uncommon for people to have heart attack symptoms, but not realize they are having a heart attack until it's too late.

"A lot of people hear chest pain. That's the only thing they think of and there's a lot more to it than just chest pain, especially for women." Ball says it's common for women to experience heart attack symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

Jennifer Gruesbeck was also in the ambulance when Custer went into cardiac arrest and she says she doesn't take the opportunity to save a life for granted.

"I don't think there's really words for what it feels like to actually save someone's life. I could save I'm just doing my job but it's much more than that to me," said Gruesbeck.

Gruesbeck had the opportunity to meet Custer a few months after she helped save her life. Gruesbeck says it's very fulfilling to see the progress Custer has made in recovery.

"To be able to see that after the condition that she had already been in with us was definitely one of the more rewarding things in my career," said Gruesbeck.

Custer has been in cardiac rehab and has made lifestyle changes. She isn't taking her second chance at life for granted.

"I thank God every day that it worked whatever they were doing," said Custer.

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