EMT-Hero Dad Dies of Heart Attack


 
 

Reuven Fenton and Alex Ginsberg | | Saturday, December 27, 2008


NEW YORK -- A Queens EMT, who had saved at least two lives while off duty, died suddenly after suffering a heart attack as he unpacked his car, his devastated wife said yesterday.

Wendell O'Brien, 42, who had been with the FDNY since 2001, had just returned home from Florida with his wife, Marcia, and children, Wendell Jr., 13, and Amanda, 11, when tragedy struck Monday.

"He made me want to live my life better," said Marcia, 40, a hospital administrator. "He was just amazing."

O'Brien, of Rosedale, was recognized by The Post for saving the life of a neighbor's child in 2003.

He rushed to the aid of Hannah Holguin, 9, who was choking on a bottle cap. He performed the Heimlich maneuver, then accompanied her to the hospital.

"I just feel heartbroken," said a tearful Hannah, now 14 and living in Tennessee. "We were so close. He was like a second father to me. He was my hero. If he wasn't there that night, I wouldn't be here."

Two years later, O'Brien helped stop a suicidal woman from throwing herself into the East River.

O'Brien's death "is a great loss to the department," said FDNY spokesman Steve Ritea. "He was a model employee and will be greatly missed."

A wake will be held from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the J. Foster Phillips Funeral Home, 179-24 Linden Blvd. The funeral will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Church of God of Prophecy, 194-15 Linden Blvd.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Cardiac and Circulation, Non-Line of Duty Deaths

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters, Medics Drill for Ebola

Lexington firefighters and medics prepare for possible patients.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Mid-South EMTs Prepare for Ebola

Mid-South EMTs are certified for service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ebola Changes How North Carolina EMS Responds to Calls

Concern about virus spread leads to new protocols.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Oklahoma Hospitals Prepare for Ebola Cases

Training and preparation are keys for metro hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Shooting Incident

Solider is shot by gunman at national memorial in Ottawa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS Tailgating

Rigs converted for football.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >