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Couple praises Douglas County Sheriff's deputy for help during cardiac arrest

Posted at 5:10 PM, May 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-07 18:43:17-04

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Kan. -- In the early hours of April 23, Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Jared Ellis was dispatched to 59 Highway just south of Lawrence. 

In the median, he found Sarah and Devin Wilson.

"He had stiffened out and turned the wheel, and we had hit the bridge," Sarah Wilson said of her husband.

Devin Wilson went into cardiac arrest with his foot on the gas pedal.

His wife quickly shifted to neutral and began chest compressions on her husband.

Minutes later, Deputy Ellis was there.

"I jumped out of my car and grabbed my AED," Ellis said.

Once paramedics arrived, Deputy Ellis' job could have been over, but he decided to go the extra mile, literally. He followed Sarah Wilson to the hospital.

"He was behind my car, and I was behind the ambulance. That way I didn't have to stop," she said.

"I wanted to make sure she got there safely," Ellis explained.

When Devin Wilson had to be airlifted to the University of Kansas Hospital, the deputy came to the rescue again.

"My car was damaged, and I didn't know how I was going to get there. He actually took me to KU Med," Sarah Wilson said. 

Over the next few days, Ellis called Sarah Wilson to check in and make sure her husband's recovery was going smoothly.

Once he was released from the hospital, they sent a message to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office about Deputy Ellis' actions.

The sheriff's office posted it online, and the message of gratitude has been shared more than 1,000 times.

"It brought tears to my eyes. It was amazing," Ellis said of the post. 

On Monday, for the first time, Devin Wilson met Deputy Ellis and thanked him face to face.

"It was kind of like meeting your savior actually," he said of the experience.

"To be able to see Sarah again and shake Devin's hand, that was amazing to me," Deputy Ellis echoed.