CLEVELAND -- Donald Austin of Cleveland owes his life to strangers. Strangers who had a basic skill that was needed at a critical time. On July 29th, Austin took a friend to traffic court. While waiting on his friend, Austin collapsed from a massive heart attack.
Deputy Bailiff Stephen Gaines was just feet away when it happened and jumped into action.
"It surprised me that the training I had just snapped back into me with CPR," Gaines says. The officer adds he had help from several colleagues including a Cleveland Police officer who assisted with the CPR, several other court officers and Sheriff's Deputies. All who've had CPR training.
Meanwhile, Cleveland EMS and MetroHealth, where Austin was taken, say that the PulsePoint app was also activated. PulsePoint is a free app that you can download onto your phone and it will alert you if someone is having a heart attack nearby. It will also give you the closest AED location. No one knows who's app was activated, but there was someone else willing to help Austin.
Austin can't thank the officers enough.
"I have a second chance with my family and people that love me, I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart for acting as fast as they did because they saved my life," he says.
Gaines is just happy he was in the right place at the right time.
"I thank god that I was there and able to help someone because If I was ever in that situation, I hope someone would do the same for me," Gaines said.
Follow WKYC's Senior Health Correspondent Monica Robins on Twitter: @MonicaRobins