Jogger Credits Good Samaritan With Saving His Life

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News4 cameras were rolling as Michael Liu thanked the woman who helped save his life when he suffered a cardiac arrest several months ago. Chris Gordon reports. (Published Thursday, Aug 28, 2014)

    On Thursday, a D.C.-area man had an anything-but-typical birthday celebration: His guests were the people who saved his life several months ago after he went into cardiac arrest while jogging in a park.

    Michael Liu credits a stranger with saving his life. Liu, a former marathon runner, was jogging while pushing his 2-year-old son, Mark, in a stroller at a Rockville park last May when he collapsed.

    Heather Von Kurtze, who was with her 9-year-old daughter at the time, dropped everything, called 911 and came to Liu's side to help.

    In the 911 recording, Von Kurtze asks for help, telling the dispatcher Liu wasn't breathing. The dispatcher told her to attempt CPR while fire and rescue crews made their way to the park. 

    Liu was hospitalized in a coma -- all while his wife was pregnant. She worried her newborn would be without a father, but after 10 days, he awoke.

    "To think of all the memories that Nathan wouldn't remember with his dad... and this baby's never meeting her father would have been really heartbreaking," Mary Liu said. "I'm just so grateful. It's amazing."

    Thursday, Liu celebrated his 32nd birthday with his family, Von Kurtze and the first responders who helped save his life.

    "To know that I played any part in him being here on his birthday and being able to experience his daughter being born in a few months... that's phenomenal," Von Kurtze said. 

    Though Von Kurtze stayed modest about her role in saving Liu, he said he owes his life to her.

    "That she would help out a complete stranger, that she would stop what she's doing and come help me who she doesn't even know," Liu said.