Man meets crew who saved him from cardiac arrest

Jean Theard said he never misses a chance to thank a first responder


Jean Theard is miraculously still around despite being in full cardiac arrest a few months ago.

"Last thing I remember is coming out of the bathroom after chewing a few aspirins because I couldn't find my nitro. Came out of the bathroom, that was it, light's out," Theard said.

Theard was happy to be surrounded by lifesavers at the Seminole County, Florida, fire station closest to his home.

Seminole County’s Deputy Chief Matt Kinley was ready to give out some lifesaving awards.

“We've got someone walking around that might not have been,” Kinley said.

It was July and Theard's heart had stopped. His girlfriend got CPR coaching from 911 as rescuers rolled.

"Anything that could have gone right, went right,” Lt. Stephen Armstrong said.

Station 26 got there in under five minutes and brought him back. But they needed to get his stopped heart going again on the way to the hospital.

"They get them to us. If they didn't get them to us, we couldn't do the magic that we do,” Linda Hardison of Orlando Health said.

When Theard heard awards were being delivered to the crew which saved him, he said he had to be there in person.

"My girlfriend called, they responded and here I am,” Theard said.

Certainly, as Theard slides into this year's Thanksgiving table, in the back of his mind, he'll be thinking about the importance of one of those fire rescue crews.

“[Thanksgiving] is going to taste real good this year. I have a birthday coming up on Monday too,” Theard said.

Plenty of reasons to celebrate.

"If it wasn't for them, like you say, Thanksgiving would be pretty dull without me around,” Theard said.

Theard said he never misses a chance to thank a first responder.