Eight years after her mother died of cardiac arrest in a bedroom in the family’s York County home, Rebecca Hill recently found her father unresponsive on the floor of the same room.
“It’s scary when something like that happens, it’s just traumatizing,” Hill told WYDaily about the experience.
On Sept. 6, Hill, 22, was at her family’s home in the Yorkshire Downs neighborhood when her father, Jim, 57, complained of having a stiff neck. A few minutes later she heard a bang upstairs and discovered her father face down on the floor, she said.
“All I remember is sitting down on my bed and saying, ‘Let me look at Facebook,’” Jim Hill told WYDaily. “After that, I don’t remember anything.”
When Rebecca Hill called 911, dispatcher Sara Mattingly gave her instructions on how to perform CPR while Deputy Kalyn Hall of the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office sped to the Hills’ home.
“It was incredibly helpful just to have someone calmly talk me through it,” Rebecca Hill said.
When Hall arrived, he helped continue CPR and, with Rebecca Hill’s assistance, used an automated external defibrillator to shock Jim Hill’s heart.
Hall then attended to Jim Hill while Rebecca Hill went outside to greet medics from York County Fire & Life Safety.
“They just pulled up, came right in and got to work,” Rebecca Hill said. “People keep telling me that I did some heroic thing, but it’s really the first responders who saved the day. They’re the real heroes.”
As an ambulance took Jim Hill to Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, a sheriff’s deputy drove Rebecca Hill to the hospital.
“They made sure I wasn’t alone the entire time. It was just reassuring to not feel like I was all by myself,” Rebecca Hill said.
At the hospital, doctors determined that Jim Hill had suffered a heart attack and that one of his arteries was almost fully blocked, Rebecca Hill said.
Jim Hill, who was released from the hospital earlier this week, praised his daughter’s actions and said he is thankful that first responders were there when he needed them most.
“I realized that there could’ve been a lot of chances for me not to make it in that situation,” he said. “I feel lucky to have a daughter that handled the situation the way she did. But I’m also grateful to live where I do, where the services are amazing and literally life-saving.”