Heart Attack Survivor Meets the Man Who Saved His Life

Heart Attack Survivor Meets the Man Who Saved His Life

August 13, 2019 0 By Bertrand Dibbert


– [Reporter] This man was brought back from the brink of death,
and he’s alive today thanks to this OneBlood team member. – Well, I think I was in the
right place at the right time. And I just thank God I
was there at that moment. – Definitely some kind
of divine intervention. – Thank you for joining
us; I’m Susan Forbes. Today I want to share
with you the amazing story of a man who was literally
seconds from death when a OneBlood team
member sprang into action to save his life. And you’re about to
hear the incredible role that this blood donor played
in bringing the two men back together for a second time. Now this is Sam Palacio, he’s
a donor services team leader and phlebotomist in Melbourne,
Florida here at OneBlood. Not too long ago, I
received an email from a man who said Sam saved his life. He said if I wanted to hear what happened, I should give him a call. Well, I can tell you I stopped
what I was doing that instant and I picked up the phone. What I heard was a
remarkable story about Sam and how his trip to the gym
put him at the right place at the right time. – I went down like hard. – I heard someone behind
me screaming for help. – And I guess, people in the
gym started gathering around, all of them looking scared. – I got up, turned around,
and there was a gentleman slumped over with his head down and said something ain’t right. I think he had a heart attack. I felt his neck; there was no pulse. So I said, okay, everybody
step back; and I start CPR. – Then he jumped right
on me and proceeded to do 100 compressions, chest
compressions, per minute for 15 minutes, which today
sounds humanly impossible. – So when the EMS got
there, they said to me, don’t stop, keep going. So I keep going, I keep going,
I keep going, I keep going. And then while they’re doing
the IV and stuff like that, they said, help us out, don’t leave. I helped them pick him up
and put him on the stretcher. – And then you didn’t know what
happened to him after that? – I didn’t know what
happened to him after that. No I don’t, I didn’t know. – What I had was, I learned
later, of 100% blockage known as the widow maker
because the survival rate is extremely low. And for someone to have one in the field is almost unheard of to
make it to the hospital. Definitely some kind
of divine intervention. – As Mike began his road to recovery, he was desperately trying
to find out who it was that helped save him that day at the gym. He wasn’t having any luck until one day the mystery was solved
on board the Big Red Bus. – [Mike] My best friend,
a guy named Richard Hood, and he went and donated
on the Big Red Bus. – I go and I donate the
blood on the Big Red Bus every nine weeks. And the first person I
see on this bus is Sam. – He’s a regular donor;
he’s a friend of mine also. Then he says, hi Sam, how you doing? I said how you doing? Then he sat down, he said I
got to tell you guys something. So we turn around and was like, what? He’s like, well, someone
saved my friend’s life at the gym the other day. And like, what gym? I said, Planet Fitness? He said, yes. I said, the one in Melbourne? He said, yes. I said that was me. And he like, no way! I said, yes, that was me. – And Sam and I just got all excited because Sam saved Mike’s life. – So he got up, gave me
a hug, and he told me thank you so much, that’s my best friend. We’ve been friends for years,
and you saved his life. Because of you, he’s still alive. – Then to find out that Sam
saved Mike, just phenomenal. Just phenomenal. – [Susan] So you saved
a donor’s best friend? – Yes. – My friend donated his blood, went home, and picked out his best bottle of wine and gift wrapped it
for Sam, and called me. And he said, hey, I know
the guy that saved you the other night. I said, really, tell me about it. – It’s a small world when you
think it’s your best friend happens to walk on the Big Red Bus and discovers who saved you. – Yep. From my friend Richard I got
Sam’s name and his phone number and I knew he worked for OneBlood, and I knew he worked on the bus. And so I called him up. – When he called me I really
didn’t know who he was. So, I said hello. And they’re like, is Samuel there? I said, yeah, this is Samuel. And he said, this is Mike. So I said, Mike who? – I finally said, you’re
the guy that saved me at Planet Fitness. – And I was like, wow. So we talked for like 15, 20 minutes. And he said that he
really wanted to meet me. – What do you think it’s gonna be like when you see Sam face to face? – I did it with a big grin on my face and be really pleased to finally meet him. – Hey, Michael, how you doing? – Mr. Palacio.
– Oh boy! – I understand–
– Nice meeting you. – We have met before.
– Oh, yes, yes, yes. – Very good to meet you. – It’s nice to meet you again. I’m telling you, oh my gosh. This is a great moment. – It’s great to be here. Well, you had the unique
combination of training and personality that wasn’t
afraid to put himself on the line. – Did you ever think when you were going through the training at work
that you would actually have to use CPR on somebody? – No, never, never, never. I never think, no, it
never went through my mind. – And you weren’t even at work. – No, I wasn’t at work, no. – [Susan] Yet the training
you received on your job– – Yes, helped, helped save someone’s life. – Sam did what they trained him to do. Of all the people that were
necessary in me being back here, he was definitely the key link. – Well, I think I was in the
right place at the right time. And I just thank God I
was there at that moment to help that day and
do the thing that we do every single day, save lives. – Simply an amazing
story all the way around. We also wanna let you know
that Sam was certified in CPR as part of his training here at OneBlood. You can take comfort in
knowing that there is always at least one team member
on all Big Red Buses and donor centers trained
in CPR at all times. Now, needless to say, Mike
is forever grateful to Sam for saving his life. And Mike wanted to make
sure that Sam was recognized for what he did. So Mike picked up the phone and he called the mayor of Palm Bay. After hearing the story, Sam found himself as the guest of honor at
the city council meeting. Our cameras were rolling when
Sam and Mike went to city hall and Sam was presented with
a certificate of heroism for his extraordinary
bravery, courage, and actions in saving a life. – And I did what I had
to do to save his life. And I’m glad that he’s
here with us today alive. And I’d do it all over again. – What makes this story even better is that Sam never told anybody
about his act of heroism. He pretty much kept it to himself. It wasn’t until I received
that email from Mike that the story came to live. Now, needless to say, when
OneBlood CEO Bud Scholl learned of the story, he wanted
to recognize Sam as well, and he did so during a
recent company meeting. – We’ve got a certificate from OneBlood. What you did was nothing short of amazing. And I can see you’ve got
a lot of humility too, which makes it even better. So you’re a wonderful human being. Thank you so much.
– Thank you so much. (audience applauding) – We have amazing team
members here at OneBlood. Now if you know someone
on our team who went above and beyond, please let us know. To share your story, all
you have to do is visit our webpage at OneBlood.org
and scroll down to the Share Your Story link. When you click on that
link, it will take you to a page where you can
send us all the information, and we can get to work
on sharing that story. Thank you for joining us
for this Facebook event. We’re so glad to share
Sam’s story with everyone.