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08/20/2013 12:51 pm ET Updated Aug 20, 2013

Joseph Hardman, Detroit Paramedic, Saves Man From Heart Attack While Suffering Heart Attack Of His Own

A Detroit paramedic didn't let his own medical crisis get in the way of saving somebody else's life.

Joseph Hardman, a 15-year veteran paramedic with Detroit EMS, was transporting a patient suffering a heart attack to the hospital last Friday. He was performing CPR when he began to experience the symptoms of a heart attack himself, according to WXYZ-TV.

Hardman had the heart attack on the way to the Detroit Medical Center's Harper-Hutzel Hospital, the Detroit Free Press reports. When they arrived, they first dropped off the patient before going to the ER himself.

"He nearly died, had to go to surgery," union rep Joe Barney told the Free Press. "He's in fact laying three beds over from the guy he brought into the hospital."

According to CNN, both the original patient and Hardman had identical stents put in to remove blockages. Hardman's blockage was in the "widow-maker" artery, his doctor told WXYZ.

Both patients are recovering. According to the local news station, Hardman had no history of heart problems and he will spend several months recuperating before he can return to work.

“That’s why we do what we do — because that’s what we live for,” Hardman told CBS Detroit. ”That’s what EMS is: to go from a state of death or near death to watching the person walk out of the hospital with their family several days later.”

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