Woman Thanks First Responders Who Saved Her Life

Posted at 6:35 PM, May 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-05 18:35:10-04

KENT COUNTY, Mich., (May 5, 2014) — Caryn Helmer doesn’t remember much about the day she collapsed in her kitchen from a sudden cardiac arrest, but she knows she wouldn’t be alive if not for first responders. Crews with Rockford Ambulance arrived within minutes, performing CPR on Helmer as she was rushed to the hospital.

A month after the incident, Helmer had the chance to meet the two men who saved her life Monday at the main office of Rockford Ambulance. She was all smiles as she hugged the men and thanked them.

“I’m very grateful,” Helmer told FOX 17 News. “It makes me feel very lucky. It makes me feel like I must have a job to do here on earth.”

Doctors said about 55 minutes of CPR was performed on Helmer in order to save her life.

“To walk out [of the hospital] after 55 minutes is very unusual, ” said Dr. Todd Chassee, who helped care for Helmer. “Without their efforts, I don’t think Ms. Helmer would be here today.”

Helmer is still recovering and undergoing physical therapy. She said she had no prior conditions or warning signs before suffering from that cardiac arrest.

Rockford Ambulance has a cardiac arrest survival rate of 50 percent, higher than the national average of 33 percent.

Watch the video above to see Helmer’s special reunion with first responders.