A 78-year-old Virginia man who suffered from cardiac arrest last June was reunited Thursday with the woman who saved him by performing CPR for six minutes until medics arrived.
On June 15, Bob was delivering a eulogy at a private residence in front of about 50 people when he collapsed, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD). That was when Virginia began to perform hands-only CPR while waiting for medics to arrive. Bob was defibrillated twice and awoke. He was talking once he arrived at the hospital.
The reunion was held at the Public Safety Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, and both Bob and Virginia gave emotional statements.
“It wasn't me that saved you, I had help from above,” Virginia said.
The reunion was a part of FCFRD’s program that reunites survivors of near fatal situations with those who played an important role in their survival. The program’s goal is to spread awareness for the importance of immediate action in medical emergencies. According to FCFRD, bystander CPR increases the chances of neurologically intact survival, but it is provided in less than 50% of incidents.
“It takes a village as they say, and we had a village,” Bob said.
FCFRD said it’s hosting a free open house hands-only CPR event Saturday, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Bingo Hall at Fire Station 14 in Burke. They encourage people to come by to “learn how easy it can be to help save a life.”