Virginia Beach, Va. (WAVY) – There was a special reunion in Virginia Beach Wednesday night.
A man got to meet with the first responders who helped save his life after he went into cardiac arrest while driving.
Someone started CPR on 57-year-old Allen Cheek before EMTs arrived on scene.
We’re told this made all the difference in keeping him alive. He’s encouraging others to learn this life-saving skill.
Allen’s ordeal happened a few weeks ago while he was playing pickleball with friends.
“I remember playing and everything felt normal and then all of a sudden my arms felt like they weighed 800 pounds and I got really tired,” he said.
After trying to rest, Allen drove home. He was on his street when he went into cardiac arrest, crashing in a front yard.
“I pinched his ear, I pinched his thumb but he wasn’t responsive to me,” said neighbor Jeremy Frayne.
Frayne and another neighbor, Will Ladoucer, pulled Allan out of the vehicle. Ladoucer, a first responder in Yorktown, started CPR.
“We got to the two minute pulse check because I had some girl timing it for me and he had a pulse,” Ladoucer said.
Virginia Beach EMS arrived soon after, working on Allen for 15 more minutes.
“By the grace of God, they got me breathing and got my heart beat back,” he said.
Allen got to personally thank everyone involved Wednesday evening.
“I owe my life to each of you and I’m so thankful that I have a life to continue with my family and friends,” he told them.
First responders said Allen’s story shows every second counts.
“Without bystander CPR, we couldn’t have done the things to the success level that we did because it bridges that gap until we get there,” said Elizabeth Beatty, an EMS captain.
As for Allen, he hopes it will motivate others to learn CPR.
If you’re interested in learning CPR, you can contact Virginia Beach EMS for more information at 757-385-1999.
To read steps from the American Red Cross, click here.