Exclusive: Man Who Suffered Near Fatal Heart Attack Reunited With His ‘Angels’
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By Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In a touching and extraordinary reunion, a Philadelphia man finally met the Septa manager and nurse who saved his life.
When Tod Streets collapsed with a heart attack 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.
Deans, a 17-year Septa veteran, saw Streets collapse, immediately ordered the train to stop, then raced to get an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).
Meanwhile, Pundt, who formerly worked in the Intensive Care Unit, performed CPR on the victim, who at one point had no pulse and stopped breathing.
Thanks to the quick action of the two rescuers, Streets was brought back to life and rushed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where doctors, using a special hypothermia procedure in which the patient is packed in ice to lower his body temperature, completed the rescue effort.
Amazingly, the rescue almost didn’t happen.
Pundt was only there because she missed her train by two minutes. Deans, about to finish for the day, was about to leave the building, when he saw Mr. Streets collapse.
Streets, his wife and daughter expressed their gratitude to the rescuers calling them “angels”.
Emergency room Physician Dr. Raina Merchant explained that there is a 10-minute “window of life” in serious heart incidents.
Dr. Merchant explained that AED’s are crucial to saving lives, yet, with an estimated 5,000 now in Philadelphia alone, many dont know where they are and how to use them.
To raise AED awareness, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is now sponsoring a promotional contest that will lead to a new “app” where anyone can find the nearest AED.
For more information on this lifesaving program, you can visit the hospital’s AED website at www.myheartmap.org.
The prognosis for 56-year-old Streets, doctors say, is extremely positive and he expressed hopes of working with the hospital to raise AED awareness in the future.