Posted on 11/03/2017
Jeanne Burkart with her rescuers Wade Petray and Colin Lee
2017 Nominees – Wade Petray and Colin Lee
Survivor – Jeanne Burkart, Lincoln, NE, 56 at time of event (February 4, 2016)

Location of Event – Workplace

On the afternoon of February 4, 2016, I was in my cubicle at my place of employment, Crete Carrier Corporation, Lincoln, Nebraska, when without warning, I collapsed and stopped breathing. It was like a switch went off. One minute I was standing in front of my computer monitor reading an email and six days later I awoke in a hospital bed with my husband and eldest son at my side. I was wired up to various blinking/beeping monitors. My family informed me I had almost died having suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while at work. I had no idea what a SCA was. The doctors at the hospital told me my co-workers actually saved my life.  

While I lay unconscious on the floor of my cubicle, Wade Petray and Colin Lee began CPR. For 20 minutes they performed chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth until the paramedics arrived and jump-started my heart with an automated external defibrillator (AED). My pulse and breathing then resumed. I was taken to a local heart specialty hospital.

Wade’s and Colin’s fast and calm efforts in performing CPR made all the difference before paramedics arrived.

As an outcome of my incident, along with Crete Carrier Corporation’s longstanding First Responder program, AEDs have been installed at all our terminals throughout the United States. Wade’s and Colin’s efforts have brought an enormous awareness to many people regarding the use of CPR to save a life, along with the critical need to also have AEDs readily available.          

It is an honor to nominate Wade Petray and Colin Lee for the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation’s People Saving People Award, and to also know that in the future, more people will be as lucky as I was.

Nominated by Jeanne Marie Burkart