Uber driver suffers heart attack after surviving mid-ride assault

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- An Uber driver managed to fight off a violent attack by one of his passengers Sunday night, Sept. 29, but he was hospitalized Monday after suffering a heart attack.

His family said the shock of the assault was too much for Joseph McVey to handle.

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

Holly McVey said she spent the days since the incident 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 McVey said.

Joseph McVey was at work when a passenger attacked him mid-ride, police said.

Cedric Jeter was accused of wielding a knife 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," said Holly McVey. "I was like, 'You’re kidding me. He coded? And now he’s had this massive heart attack?' I just couldn’t believe it."

The father of two remained in a medically-induced coma at Mercy General Hospital, KTXL reported Saturday, Oct. 5.

Holly McVey said she hadn’t left her husband’s bedside. On top of the emotional anguish, she was worried about the financial strain this would 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 McVey said.

Uber released a statement to KTXL that read, 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."

Holly McVey was wearing her husband’s wedding ring around her neck, holding it close for comfort.

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

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