When Bill DeVito felt chest pain on Oct. 30, he decided to head to Winchester Hospital right down the street. “When I got to the Emergency Room parking lot, I just left my truck in the lot — not even in a legal spot. I felt I needed to get into the hospital. I got out of my truck and basically just made it around to the back of the vehicle when I felt myself losing balance. Everything after that…that was it,” he said.
Thankfully, Winchester Hospital Security Guard John Brito was nearby and saw DeVito fall. A valet had alerted Security that a man was driving erratically. “I went outside to see what was going on,” Brito said. “He was mumbling and got out of his truck and fell. I called the medical staff for help.”
Emergency Department nurses Erica Diepietro and Mary Ellen Armstrong responded to the call and DeVito was brought inside. Tests showed he was having a stemi heart attack that required immediate treatment to avoid loss of life.
“Their quick action, honestly, saved him,” said Corinne DeVito, Bill’s wife. “My husband was near death and they did all they could to keep him alive until he was transported to Lahey [Hospital & Medical Center]. He went into cardiac shock, then went into a life-threatening arrhythmia, and they, by the grace of God, revived him. Time was of the essence in getting him transported and they did so without hesitation, upon getting him as stable as humanly possible. Two nurses even went with him in the ambulance. I know that had they not gone with him, he would not have survived. What an amazing team you have of ER nurses.”
Since the incident, DeVito has returned to Winchester Hospital several times to say thank you, the last being during the Nurses Week Awards Breakfast when the entire ED team was honored with the DAISY Team Award. The DAISY Team Award is designed to honor collaboration by two or more people, led by a nurse, who identify and meet patient and/or patient family needs by going above and beyond the traditional role of nursing.
“I’ve been here a couple of times to say hello,” DeVito said. “I even bumped into Mary Ellen and Debbie Sugure in Kennebunkport in the winter. We live down the street and this is our hospital. My daughter was born at Winchester Hospital. Now, thanks to these people, my daughter is having twins and I’m going to be around to see it.”
The ED staff saves many lives, but they don’t often get to see how their patients’ are doing. “It’s such a gift when they come back,” Armstrong said. “We love it. The best thing about it is that he told me that his life could have ended that day but didn’t and that he is so grateful for the little things. It is such a gift to us.”