The words jolted me like the crack of thunder from a nearby thunderstorm. “Mom, come to the emergency room. Dad is having a heart attack.” Denial. “Are you kidding? I just talked to him 15 minutes ago. He was fine.” Panic. “No, I’m not kidding! It’s bad, Mom, come now!” The trip to the hospital is a blank. I don’t recall whether I turned onto the highway or went to the traffic light. Three years ago, Ron had suffered his first heart attack. It was a deja vu moment. A stress test at his cardiologist a week ago revealed nothing. At the hospital, paramedics encircled my husband who clasped his chest and writhed in pain. The situation was grave. My colleague Scott Willey’s wife Amy was putting an aspirin in his mouth, saying chew this, you’re going to be fine. Someone else said, Ron, we’re putting medicine in this IV to help dissolve the clot. “Shouldn’t we move him to Corpus?” I asked. “Yes, but we have to stabilize him; otherwise, he won’t last through the trip.” The Halo-Flight air ambulance was launched. A long-time acquaintance with a family member in the emergency room gave me a hug and said “we’re praying for Ron.” Hospital Administrator Louis Willeke and Lydia Schlbach, the assistant administrator, offered more words of comfort. My daughter Reagan went to pack our bags. Ron was stable and ready for the trip when the helicopter arrived. At the Spohn Shoreline heart hospital the same cardiologist who performed his first catheterization performed this one. Miraculously, everything went like clockwork. The trip to the hospital, the immediate care by paramedics, the positive reaction to the medication, the helicopter flight, the heart cath procedure. Prayer groups across the state, largely through the efforts of Fanny Cantu, a powerfully spiritual man and former classmate of my sister, friends, and my sister’s e-mail group, and countless others. If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s that life is fragile, good people, even strangers, do their very best to help out, and Refugio County’s extremely fortunate to have our hospital, talented paramedics and medical professionals. They can and often do save lives. If you have any doubts, ask my husband of 27 years.