Carmel man helps save wife’s life using CPR

Thanks to the quick thinking of Carmel first responders, Curt Mikulla was able to use CPR and save his wife Debbie from a heart attack.

CARMEL, Ind. — Debbie Mikulla is full of gratitude. She’s thankful to be alive.

On Dec. 28 at 8:46 p.m., Debbie, 60, had a heart attack at home. Her husband, Curt, said she became unconscious and hit her head. 

Curt called 911 for help.

He says he didn’t know CPR, but 911 dispatchers walked him through it as he waited for emergency crews to arrive.

The couple came back to the Carmel Fire Department Wednesday, joined by family and other first responders, to thank them.

“The time that I initially made the call, which was probably less than a minute after she first fell and hit her head, I was amazed. It was five minutes. Exactly five minutes is incredible response time,” said Curt Mikulla.

First responders say Debbie regained a pulse eight minutes after first responders arrived.

Leaders say CPR efforts, two shocks given with the department’s Life Pack, and advanced life support medications helped Debbie pull through. She says she doesn’t remember anything from that night, but immediately wanted to meet those who saved her life. Less than one month after Debbie’s heart attack, she did.

“It was amazing to meet everyone and best thing of all is that it was on my birthday and I got to tell everyone thank you. I’m here to celebrate my birthday, which was on Jan. 15, and I’m here celebrating my birthday because of all of you,” said Mikulla.

Carmel Fire Department leaders held a survivor recognition event Wednesday at Station 345 to honor not only the Mikullas, but first responders and dispatchers who helped save her life, from paramedics to police officers to IU Health’s medical team.

“There are no words that can express gratitude I have for all of you, there just aren’t and to be standing up here today sharing today, you know, to be celebrated like this, and to share this story,” said Debbie.

If you are interested in learning CPR, you an contact your local fire department or the Amerian Red Cross.

Carmel Fire Department also offers CPR classes. You can sign up here.