POSTED: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 6:30pm
UPDATED: Friday, September 27, 2013 - 10:14am
GONZALES, LA (NBC33) — She has waited a long time to say thank you, and Wednesday, a Gonzales woman finally got a chance to meet with the Acadian paramedics who saved her life after she had a heart attack.
"It was just something I was compelled. I had to see him. I just had to say thank you."
For Kathleen LeBlanc, a normal day turned out to be a day that changed her life, and her husband Lynn remembers it all too well.
"We got up to eat dinner, and as we were eating dinner, first of all she looked very strange at first. Then she told me 'Lynn, I feel nauseous.' Then after that, she said 'I'm going down,'" Lynn said.
Eric Smith was one of the first paramedics to Kathleen's rescue.
"The kitchen floor is where we arrived on scene and saw Mrs. LeBlanc laying on the floor," Smith said. "The table had been moved back from the fire department to make more room for us to work."
"They gave her the electric shock treatment and all I can think about, my wife of 42 years, I haven't said enough to you," Lynn said. "I need some more time to talk to her. Her grandkids need more time with her."
Kathleen didn't have a pulse for ten minutes, but Lynn said the first responders would not give up, and before he knew it, he heard his wife's heart beat.
"It's a wonderful thing to be able to sit here and tell these people how much we appreciate them when it could have been so much different," Lynn said. "I could have been without a wife. My kids could've been without a grandmother. My son and daughter could've been without a mother, and I'm so thankful today that she's with me here."
"I couldn't leave them. I had to live," Kathleen said.
Kathleen said there are no words to describe how she feels about the people who didn't give up on her, but she wants them to know what they do matters.
"You are so need and welcomed for the things that you do every day, and I hope everyone that has their help is as thankful for it as I am," Kathleen said.
"It's very humbling. I don't see myself as a hero," Smith said. "I see myself as a normal guy who has a job to do."
Kathleen said she also hopes to reunite with the St. Amant firefighters who were first on the scene and instrumental in her rescue.