California Uber driver suffers heart attack after surviving mid-ride assault

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SACRAMENTO -- An Uber driver managed to fight off a violent attack by one of his passengers Sunday night, but now he’s in the hospital after suffering a heart attack.

His family said the shock of the assault was too much for Joseph McVey to handle, and now he’s fighting for his life once again, this time in a hospital.

“It’s been really hard,” Joseph's wife, Holly McVey, told KTXL.

Holly McVey said she’s spent the last few days fighting back tears and putting on a brave face for her daughters.

“We have two little girls, and they keep asking me, ‘Is dad going to die?'” Holly said.

Joseph was at work Sunday when a passenger attacked him mid-ride, police say.

Cedric Jeter is accused of wielding a knife at Joseph while they were on Stockton Boulevard, according to police.

Nearby security saw the attack and radioed the police.

After surviving the assault, the 41-year-old suffered a major heart attack, according to the family.

“I was in disbelief. I was like, 'You’re kidding me. He coded? And now he’s had this massive heart attack?' I just couldn’t believe it,” Holly said. “I’m still in shock.”

The father of two remains in a medically-induced coma at Mercy General Hospital.

Holly said she hasn’t left her husband’s bedside. On top of the emotional anguish, she said she worries about the financial strain this will put on her family.

She said she wishes Uber would do more to support full-time workers, like her husband, in times of crisis.

“If they can’t do anything to keep them safe, at least if something does happen, they need to have some financial protection for them,” Holly said.

Uber released a statement to KTXL that reads in part, "Our thoughts are with Mr. McVey and his family. As soon as we were able to get in contact with a family member, we immediately reached out to offer our support."

As the McVeys wait for answers, Holly has kept her husband’s wedding ring around her neck, holding it close for comfort.

“It means that I’m there for him. We’ve been through a lot together in our marriage, and I know he’s going to wear it again,” she said.

A GoFundMe page was created to help support the McVey family.

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