A crowd of good Samaritans helped save the life of a D.C. firefighter, and on Tuesday she got the chance to thank everyone who came to her aid.
Firefighter Angelia Boddie, a 20-year veteran of the D.C. Fire and EMS Department, went into cardiac arrest behind the wheel of a car near George Washington University Hospital.
A restaurant worker, two medical students and many members of the fire department helped her.
"Total strangers recognized there was an emergency, and they acted," Boddie said at a ceremony Tuesday.
Boddie was on duty late last month, driving along Pennsylvania Avenue near the hospital, when she got into a fender bender.
Sequaan Bussie ran to help. He had been heading home from his job at a local burger joint. When he looked into Boddie's car, he knew the situation was serious.
"When I looked at her, she was leaned over the seat, foaming at the mouth," he said.
He called 911. An operator told him to pull Boddie out of the car.
As Bussie and another passerby pulled Boddie from the car, Brandon Glousman was walking by, on his way to get a haircut. The first-year medical student at George Washington University Hospital knew what to do.
He felt for Bussie's pulse but felt nothing. He began CPR and called out for help.
Up stepped Tyler Kingdon, a medical student at Georgetown University. He happened to be out for a bike ride.
He started doing chest compressions on Boddie.
A local advisory neighborhood commissioner, a Boy Scout troop leader and 13 members of the fire department also came to the fallen firefighter's rescue. She was rushed to the nearby hospital. There, caregivers in the emergency department, intensive card unit and cardiac unit helped her recover.
Boddie was near tears as she thanked her rescuers and doctors on Tuesday.
"Without people in place and my coworkers, I wouldn't be here today," she said.
Boddie has not returned to active duty yet, but she hopes to soon.
Bussie, the young man who pulled Boddie from her car, said the experience has inspired him to become a paramedic or doctor.