Cardiac arrest victim hopes to find nurses who saved his life - News, Weather & Sports

Cardiac arrest victim hopes to find nurses who saved his life

Jeff Backus Jeff Backus
Dana Backus Dana Backus

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A Louisville man is alive today thanks to two Good Samaritans he calls his angels.

Jeff Backus collapsed while running one afternoon and two nurses jumped in and did everything they could to help. Backus doesn't know who the women are, but he wants to tell them thank you.

"It could have easily gone so different and I can't imagine what it would have been like then," said Dana Backus, Jeff's wife.   

In June, Jeff and Dana Backus will celebrate their second wedding anniversary. It's a milestone that never would have seemed out of reach until April 27, 2014.  

"They were saying hang on Jeff, hang in there, your wife is on the phone, hang in there buddy, so I was just in tears and I didn't know if he was going to make it," said Dana.  

It was a Sunday afternoon. The couple just returned home from church and Jeff told his wife he was going to go out for a run. Jeff was training for his first 5K, a huge accomplishment for someone who at one time weighed 450 pounds.  

"In 2013, I lost 98 pounds," said Jeff.  

Lately Jeff said he was feeling better than ever.  

"I can remember doing my stretches here before I got started," said Jeff, "but I don't remember anything after that until Sunday night."  

Jeff collapsed in Cherokee Park near Dog Hill. The cell phone he carried was by his side. By chance two nurses happened to be close by. Another bystander was able to reach Dana using Jeff's cell phone. For 20 minutes the nurses took turns giving CPR. Once EMS arrived Jeff was shocked three times.  

"A lot of people after five or ten minutes would have just given up because I'm trained in CPR, I've done it and I've done it for like two to three minutes and it wears you out," said Jeff, "so for those two people to do that I just, there's no way I could ever repay them for what they've done for me."  

Doctors told Jeff he didn't have a heart attack, but went into cardiac arrest. Days later, Jeff underwent a double bypass. The heart surgery was a success. Jeff was even released a few days early. Now if only he could reach the complete strangers who saved his life.  

"I would love to be able to thank them in person," said Jeff, "but if they don't want to meet me, thank you. I'm here." 

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