Keys man recovering after suffering heart attack during Irma

KEY WEST, FLA. (WSVN) - A Florida Keys man is recovering in the hospital after he suffered a heart attack.

Dr. Ramon Dawkins lies in a bed at Advanced Urgent Care in Key West, Monday afternoon. The patient is taking advantage of the restoration of important services in the Keys, just over a week after Hurricane Irma made landfall in the area.

“To help the community, to have high-level services,” said Dr. Bruce Boros, who owns the clinic. “We have emergency room doctors, nurses.”

While riding out the storm in his home, Dawkins said, he started feeling chest pains. “I sat up, and I felt like my chest was exploding,” he said.

Dawkins’ condition did not improve once the storm passed, so instead of volunteering on Monday to help residents whose homes had fared worse than his, he checked himself in.

Boros said Dawkins needed to be transported to a hospital.

His patient, meanwhile, said he felt frustrated he was unable to help others. “It’s the island. I think, anywhere you stop, you’re going to see people helping people,” said Dawkins.

People like Jim Loftus with Fort Lauderdale-based Advanced Roofing, who came down to the Keys to lend a helping hand and supplies. “We brought generators, food, ice, chain saws, rigs, shovels, you name it,” said Jim Loftus with Advanced Roofing in Fort Lauderdale.

Loftus said he wants to help Keys residents whose homes were severely damaged. He went out to Marathon and Duck Key and other parts of the Keys.

“In the grand scheme of things, we all belong to the same area,” said Loftus. “We’re all Floridians, and we’ve got to stick together.”

Back in Key West, despite the storm-related damage, stores are gradually reopening, trees are being removed from roadways and around homes, and multiple groups, from local firefighters to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are assisting residents.

Hawkins was taken to Lower Keys Medical Center, and from there he was airlifted to Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, where he well receive the critical cardiac treatment he needs.

A curfew from dusk until dawn remains in effect in Key West.

Advanced Urgent Care was one of the first locations in the region able to give blood. Boros said they were prepared before the storm, so they had necessary materials to provide that service.

Copyright 2017 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.