An MUSC chaplain and X-ray
technician will always have a
bond. It's not every day that
someone helps save your life on a
bus. The two, the Rev. Melvin S.
Williams and Kelly Howard, had a
reunion May 22.
Howard were heading home April 9
aboard a crowded CARTA Express bus
bound for North Charleston. Less
than seven minutes into their
commute, Williams collapsed.
Reacting quickly, Howard, who
works in the Heart & Vascular
Adult Catheterization Lab,
assessed him and found that he had
no pulse. She began performing
chest compressions on Williams who
could barely open his eyes and
breathe on his own. Howard asked
the bus driver for an automated
external defibrillator (AED)
device but learned they did not
carry one. Almost immediately two
other passengers volunteered to
get an AED device at a building
adjacent to their location on
Calhoun Street. Howard connected
the device to Williams, and it
delivered a shock to him. By that
time, emergency medical responders
had arrived and transported the
patient to MUSC's Chest Pain
Center for further treatment.
Williams was classified as a STEMI
(ST elevation myocardial
infarction) patient, which allows
an individual to receive a rapid
response level of care from
catheterization lab personnel and
other areas. Williams eventually
underwent a multiple bypass
surgery and is recovering well.
For the first time
since their fateful meeting in
April, Melvin Williams and Kelly
Howard share some words and
smiles during their May 22
reunion at Ashley River Tower.
Watch the video at http://bit.ly/M5l51D.
people complete CPR training in
preparation for giving aid, but
not many people can apply these
life-saving skills in a real-time
emergency situation, Howard said.
A cardiac cath
lab veteran for seven years,
Howard previously worked with a
three–call response team for
patients and is among MUSC staff
who must continually complete
basic life support certification
and advanced life support
training, according to Natalie
Ankney, R.N., Heart & Vascular
Center Cath/EP Labs, Prep and
"Kelly is one
of my most valuable employees.
She's committed, detail oriented
and a high performer in our area.
She puts 110 percent into
everything she does."