SPOKANE, Wash. — Statistics from the CDC show heart disease kills more than 600,000 Americans annually. One local man says he came dangerously close to being among that statistic but the quick thinking of brave strangers saved his life.
Sometimes it's the most ordinary of days, the most routine of errands which can lead to the moments that will change us forever.
“I was waiting for the light to go on the other side of the street and all the sudden, I'm in the hospital,” Phillip Jarrell said.
On Sunday May 5th around 12:30 in the afternoon, Phil took the bus to the Airway Heights Walmart for some groceries. He had no way of knowing each step was bringing him closer to death's door.
“I was told I had cardiac arrest,” he said. “My heart just stopped.”
By all accounts, the heart attack should have been fatal, but three strangers gave him a fighting chance.
“It just wasn't my time to go,” he said. Two men and a woman made sure of that.
Phil doesn't remember much, but was later told his rescue began with a man driving by and seeing his collapse.
”He gave me mouth the mount, another guy (did the chest compressions,)” he said. “They said they got me going and then my heart stopped again, they got me going again and then it stopped. By then, the ambulance arrived. They shocked me a couple of times.”
Nearly a week in the hospital followed. Immediately after his release, Phil contacted our Hayley Guenthner for help finding those responsible for another day.
“You're heroes in my book,” he said.
Phil has been able to connect with the man who was driving by. It turns out he called the hospital to check on Phil and left his number. But Phil is still looking for the names of the man and the woman who also helped to simply tell them this.
“Thanks,” he said. “Thanks for another chance. (I’m going to use it) to be happier. Maybe spread happiness.”
And that starts by sharing his story, and in turn a reminder, that this community is something to be proud of.
“There are a lot of good people here and they care,” he said.
If you know anything about who the people are who saved Phil’s life, please send Hayley and email and she will work to get you connected.