PLEASANTON (CBS SF) — There was a special reunion in the East Bay Thursday between the victim of a sudden cardiac arrest and the people who saved his life.
The call came in as “cardiac arrest, man down” on one of the trails above Shadow Cliffs Swim Area. Two life guards responded with a medical kit, but when they arrived they thought they was too late.
Al Hart is an ironman athlete who collapsed while jogging last June. On Thursday, he met the people who saved his life: teenage life guards Jeremiah Howland and Rafael Ledezma. They were the first of the first responders who found Hart on the ground.
Howland said Hart appeared dead when they arrived, but the quick-thinking life guards hooked him up to a portable defibrillator.
“I put the pads on him, and meanwhile Rafael was doing ventilation. So I shocked Al,” said Howland.
Hart told KPIX 5 he remembers none of this.
More life guards and firefighters arrived and took over, but what Howland and Ledezma did may have saved Hart’s life.
“When they initiated and activated it, it told them to provide shock. So they provided one shock before us getting there,” said Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Captain Steven Lund. “[It] very potentially did save his life.”
The small ceremony Thursday was to honor all the first responders who helped that day, but Hart had a special moment when he was able to hug and thank the two young men who pulled him back from the brink of death.