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Heart attack victim
 thanks EMTs for saving his life

Bud Werdelin thanks Henderson County paramedics for saving his life after he suffered a heart attack at the Apple Festival last year. Bud Werdelin thanks Henderson County paramedics for saving his life after he suffered a heart attack at the Apple Festival last year.

Bud Werdelin says he never would have believed he would use the words “cardiac arrest after my name.”

But he did last week when he described the life-saving work of paramedics whom he credited for saving his life when he collapsed of a heart attack at last year’s North Carolina Apple Festival.
Then a person attending festival got up on the stage and asked to the crowd “to join hands and pray for me,” he said. “Prayers go up and blessings come down. We are truly blessed to have the expertise of the paramedics and for all those prayers.”
After he was stabilized at Pardee, doctors sent him to Mission Hospital in Asheville. By Friday of that week, he was in surgery for a triple bypass that repaired two arteries that were 100 percent blocked and another that was 90 percent clogged.
“‘The miracle man’ became my nickname at both hospitals,” he said. “Some of my other friends called me Lazarus.”
At a recent EMS awards dinner, he was able to thank the paramedics in person for their miraculous work,” he said.
When he thanked his surgeon, “he looked directly at my wife and myself and said he didn’t save my life. He only repaired the damage,” he said. “Truly the people who saved me according to the doctor were the paramedics ... complete strangers who went above and beyond to save me.”
He was grateful to have been spared, he said, because 2019 brought important family events. His daughter turned 40 and wanted to celebrate at Disney World, “which we were able to do,” he said. “Even at age 40 she’s still daddy’s girl.” His son is getting married in September, on the anniversary of his heart attack at the Apple Festival. “With every ounce of love in my body my family and I want to thank all the paramedics for everything they did and let the public know of this wonderful service that is there for all of us.”