Posted on 11/03/2017
Jaina and Brian Thompson
2017 Nominee – Jaina Thompson
Survivor – Brian Thompson, Scottsdale, AZ, 49 at time of event (December 2 , 1014)

Location of Event – Neighborhood

My name is Brian Thompson. I am from Scottsdale, Arizona, and the father of three kids. I would like to nominate my wife Jaina for the People Saving People Award.

I have always been very active. I work out and eat healthy. I have never had any known heart problems. In early December 2014, after a typical weekend of hiking and playing football, I had gone to dinner with my family and was home in bed by 10 pm. My wife came to bed around midnight and shortly after, heard me gasping for air. She quickly called 911 and started CPR, which likely saved my life.

(My brother Stephen Thompson died from SCA three years prior. Paramedics got to him within 10 minutes of him collapsing but it was too late. He was also 49 at the time).

My wife is barely 5’2", but she used all her strength to continue to do chest compressions to the tune of “Staying Alive.” When she finally heard the first responders outside, she had to run downstairs, put the dog in the guest room, and let the paramedics in. All this happened while my 10-year-old son slept in his room nearby.

It turns out I had a massive heart attack with 100 percent blockage of the LAD (left anterior descending artery) and went into sudden cardiac arrest. Paramedics had to shock me five times before I got to the hospital. They placed a stent in my artery, put me in therapeutic hypothermia, and I was in a medically induced coma for four days.

I remember the moment I woke up surrounded by my wife and family. I had a respirator in my mouth, an IV in my arm, and wires everywhere. I was very confused. When I was able to speak, I asked my wife what happened. She informed me that I had a heart attack (which led to my cardiac arrest). I could not believe what I was hearing. I quickly responded, "I had a heart attack?" as if my wife must be mistaken. I am way too healthy for that to happen to me. I still have no recollection of anything that happened to me after going to bed that night, with the exception of having really sore ribs for a few weeks.

I credit my wife for knowing CPR, and more importantly, staying calm and following the instructions from the dispatcher. I am now fully recovered. I am back running, biking, and have even gone scuba diving eight times in past two years. I am very thankful to my wife, the team of first responders, and medical staff.

Nominated by Brian Thompson