Bakersfield couple saves man’s life while on vacation

Posted at 6:49 PM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 20:49:00-04

Back in May, Samantha and Chris parks were in San Diego for a friend’s wedding, a trip they thought would be a vacation from work.

They were at Chris’s sister’s house, when she got a phone call from her neighbor.

“She got a call about a man down in her front yard,” Samantha said.

They all rushed to go see if they could help.

“We ran over there, checked for a pulse, no pulse. He was blue. Not breathing,” Samantha said.

Lucky for this man, Samantha is an emergency room technician and Chris is a paramedic.

“When we see someone down, it’s in our nature,” Chris said.

Samantha said that’s when she started to administer CPR. “Within seconds he started getting some color back, she said.”

The man, Mladen Nikolich, was house-sitting for his son and daughter-in-law, and was out walking their dog, when he had a heart attack. Samantha said he went straight into cardiac arrest.

The dog started barking when Nikolich collapsed. A neighbor heard the barking, saw Nikolich down on the sidewalk, and called 911.

The ambulance arrived and rushed Nikolich to the hospital.

Four days later, he was discharged, and was able to meet the Bakersfield couple who may have saved his life.

“He was very emotional…we just gave him a big hug,” Samantha said.

Samantha and Chris agreed that, while they each work to save lives every day, being able to do that together, makes their bond grow even stronger.

“God puts people in the right place at the right time. That’s my belief. And it happened to be us,” Samantha said.

They also say, it doesn’t take someone with a medical background to change someone’s life.

“Something as simple as holding the door, or being kind, you don’t have to be a paramedic. You just have to be a good person,” Chris said.

Samantha says situations like these show how important it is to be CPR certified – because you never know when you might need to use it.