Man Thanks First Responders After Surviving Medical Emergency At OU Game

Tuesday, December 3rd 2019, 6:35 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

This season has been a stressful one for OU fans. But no more so than for a long-time fan who nearly died while at a game. Tuesday, he returned to the stadium to thank those who likely saved his life. 

It was the 4th quarter of the Iowa State game. The Cyclones were making a comeback. But it turns out not all the action was on the field. 

Reece Wilmoth was at the game with his wife and granddaughter. He’s been to well over 100 OU games. He admitted this season has been an intense one.

“Yes, it has, very much so,” he said.

But that intensity ramped up significantly as he was walking back from the restroom on November 9, and all of a sudden he couldn't breathe.

“My wife was 30, 35 feet across from me. I was trying to yell, ‘Call 911’. But of course, I couldn’t,” he recalled.  

Shortly after that point, Wilmoth lost consciousness and didn’t wake up until two days later.

Tuesday, he was back at the stadium personally thanking all of the first responders who came to his rescue.

“I got my wife with me, I got my daughter with me, I got my granddaughter with me,” said Wilmoth as he teared up. “The first responders, all of the stranger that came over and helped.”

Turns out, it wasn't a heart attack caused by a stressful game, but what is known as flash pulmonary edema, a sudden shortage of breath in his case caused by pneumonia.

It’s a life-threatening condition and paramedics admitted they’re surprised Wilmoth made it.

Andrew Minnich was one of the first to respond. Tuesday, he presented Wilmoth with a new shirt to replace the one he had to cut off him.

“We knew right off the bat this was something very serious,” said Minnich.

Norman Regional typically has 40 to 50 medical staff working each game and Wilmoth said the fact that he was here when he collapsed, equates to his own personal brand of Sooner magic.

“A true Thanksgiving,” he told the crowd. “(It) could have been so much different. The outcome could have been so much different. Thanks to all of you.”