Posted on 11/03/2017
Mike Neubauer
2017 Nominee – Theresa Paulsen Hayes
Survivor – Mike Neubauer, San Francisco CA, 70 at time of event (January 1, 2015)

Location of Event – Parking Lot at Mall

I don’t remember any of these details. My memory loss begins about one week before and three weeks after the SCA. The story was told to me by my wife, Mia. It has been two and a half years since the cardiac arrest. I am 72 and back to work full time as a VP of Engineering at Muons, Inc. This coming January 1, 2018, I will turn 73 and it will be the three-year anniversary of the day I died.

We were on vacation in Florida staying with cousins. The evening after a birthday dinner we went to a movie. Coming out of the Aventura Mall after the movie I was driving my usual “careful” way in the parking lot when a car swerved in front of me. I cursed, stepped on the brake and froze in place as I suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. Mia tried to get me out of the car, but I was too heavy for her. Another car came by and Mia yelled for help. The car stopped.

Out of the car came Theresa Paulsen Hayes, her two sons  (Travis and Taylor), and two girlfriends. Each of them ended up helping in both small and big ways. The two sons got me out of the car and Theresa got on her knees and began CPR. One of the girlfriends called 911, the other turned off the car and put it in park. A patrol car came by from the parking lot and the defib was in their trunk. It did not do the trick until the EMT came and their second attempt got the heart started again. For 14 minutes, Theresa’s CPR kept me alive and my brain with oxygen. Her knees took a beating, but she never slowed down.

I was in a coma for three days and was released in about three weeks to my wife, Mia. The rest of the recovery took two plus years and is another story with many chapters. I’m about 95 percent my former self, and I’m very glad to be alive.

Theresa and I have met since then...I've been to her home in Oregon. Theresa was truly a blessing and deserves the “People Saving People Award."

Nominated by Mike Neubauer