Leigh McGown Kauffman, Glenwood Springs, CO – 41 at time of event (2011)
It happened suddenly, as Vtac does, at 11:00pm on Wednesday night.
Serena noticed it happening, I ran upstairs, found her grey and unresponsive, and started CPR immediately, while Serena and Rhiannon called 911. I continued CPR for around 13 minutes (documented by the emergency call to ambulance arrival time) until EMS arrived.
Susan Koeppen, Pittsburgh, PA – 39 at time of event (2011)
As a news anchor on Pittsburgh’s KDKA TV, Susan Koeppen is used to reporting the news. But on November 20, 2011, she made news when she suffered sudden cardiac death near her home in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood.
Kathie Reilly, Flagstaff, AZ – 33 at time of event (2008)
What started as a normal Tuesday evening became a nightmare before the night was out. Kathie and her husband went to bed, watched bit of FoodNetwork TV and chatted about the day. Around 10:30 pm Scott woke to an odd sound. Kathie doesn’t snore, but she was making strange noises, and yet she appeared asleep. She did not seem conscious at all, and wasn't breathing. As a Flagstaff Sheriff’s deputy he was trained as a first-responder, so he tried a sternum rub to wake Kathie up—to no effect.
Anne Jennison, Lee, NH – 55 at time of event (2010)
It was exam time, a stressful period for teachers as well as students. Anne had survived the 50-minute commute and was in her second class of the morning when she died. She was sitting at her desk while the high school freshmen finished their tests. Her face hit the table top and a couple of alert students rushed over to stop Anne from falling off her chair. They could see she was not conscious.
Mike Connolly, Vista, CA – 56 at time of event (2009)
Breakfast was spoiled early one Saturday morning. Loris, Mike’s wife, heard a strange sound and came looking for Mike. She had been getting ready for work, and was surprised to see her husband unconscious in his lounge chair with a cereal bowl beside him. Mike was not breathing, but there was no way Loris could do anything about it—despite knowing CPR. He’s 6’8” and over 250lbs, she’s only 5’1” and l00lbs. She just couldn’t budge him off the chair!
Dan Grecoe, Andover, MA – 42 at time of event (2011)
It all started with a skiing accident. Knee surgery meant Dan was sidelined from all the sports activity he enjoyed. Finally he’d been given the green light to get back to running. Early Monday morning in September he went to the local YMCA with a friend to get back in shape. Just a little jogging on the treadmill, maybe some weights. Except they didn’t get that far.
Tod Streets, Philadelphia, PA--56 at the time of event (2012)
In a touching and extraordinary reunion in mid-January, a Philadelphia man finally met the Septa manager and nurse who saved his life.
When Tod Streets collapsed in cardiac arrest while waiting for his Septa train at the 30th Street Station two weeks ago, it was two strangers who came to his rescue.
Only CBS 3 cameras were there as Streets met Septa Manager Garry Deans and nurse Jeanne Pundt who came to visit him at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
During the emotional reunion, with hugs and tears, the two rescuers told Streets, who remembers nothing about the incident, how they spotted him as he collapsed on the platform.
They said Streets fell dangerously close to the track, where his rush-hour train was approaching.
Alastair Ruddick, Ponoka, Alberta Canada – 54 at time of event (2009)
Alastair and his brother, John, own a sports lounge and it was time that Wednesday evening to get a game up on the big screen. Bill was standing next to Alastair as they were looking for a hockey game on the TV. That’s when it happened.
“My brother said I took a depth breath, then a sigh, and just fell over dead!” Alastair related. “[He] called 9-1-1 while Bill ‘stood there and shook like a little girl’."
Within what seemed like seconds two EMTs arrived and began CPR. They had been at the gym next door and heard the call come in on their radios. They beat the ambulance by minutes!
Craig Dobbs, Indianapolis, IN – 42 at time of event (2010)
Craig is an avid mountain biker. He just couldn’t resist the beautiful August afternoon at the start of a four day weekend. He’d just completed a lap of the 7 mile trail near his home town of Indianapolis, when the day turned sour. Craig remembers being passed by a father and son and when he reached the picnic area the three of them shared a table to recover from their exertions. Craig began to feel sweaty and light headed–but not from the trail–he collapsed in front of them and his “lips turned blue”.
Luckily the father knew CPR and 9-1-1 was called. The ambulance arrived in minutes and shocked Craig a number of times. Craig, of course, was totally oblivious to all this activity. He had suffered a cardiac arrest and was unconscious. In fact he didn’t awake until nearly two weeks later!