A D.C. man is alive this Thanksgiving thanks to the efforts of good Samaritans and firefighters who went to his rescue when he collapsed while running over the summer.
Michael Fontaine, 25, was on a run near Logan Circle in August when he collapsed in cardiac arrest.
“I woke up in the hospital bed, and my mom told me the story, and I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
A bystander rushed to do CPR, which likely saved his life. She also called 911.
Fontaine got to say thank you Wednesday to the firefighters who went to the scene.
“I just want to thank everyone here, again, from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
One firefighter visited him in the hospital to make sure he was OK.
Often times, first responders never find out what happens the people they saved.
“Thankful that God gave me this career,” one firefighter said. “I’m thankful that Mr. Fontaine can spend Thanksgiving with his family.”
The Fontaine family is grateful, too.
“First, I want to thank all of you for saving my brother’s life,” said Fontaine’s younger brother, Luca. “You are all true heroes to me and to the rest of my family.”
Luca recently raised $7,000 to buy food for D.C. firefighters. On Thursday, the whole family will wake up early to volunteer with the group Food on the Stove and deliver turkeys to every firehouse in D.C.
“I think it’s really important that we’re here today to be able to celebrate some good in what’s been a really tough year for a lot of people,” he said.
Fontaine said the identity of the woman who did CPR remains a mystery. He put up posters around D.C. trying to find her so he can thank her for what she did.