VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A Virginia Beach man says he’s thankful to still be alive after going into cardiac arrest while driving last month. He credits his neighbors for saving his life.
On Thursday, he reunited with those neighbors, along with EMS workers and police who responded to the scene on May 26.
Allen Cheek was driving down the street in his neighborhood when his neighbor noticed he hit a mailbox. The neighbor jumped into action.
“I saw his car [go] off the road, and it was a couple houses in front and [I] pulled up and didn’t recognize it was Allen. I struggled to get into the door because the car was still trying to go forward."
Jeremy Frayne and his neighbor William Ladaoucer started doing CPR.
"I opened his airway, and he had good respiration," Ladaoucer said.
That's when EMS arrived and had to resuscitate Cheek again after he stopped breathing for a second time.
Elizabeth Beatty has been an EMS worker for more than 30 years and says she's never seen anything like this.
"My entire 36 years, I can count the number of life saves to this level if no neurological outcome on my hands," Beatty said.
Cheek's left artery was 99% blocked.
“The cardiologist said I had less than a 1% chance of living with that type of blockage," Cheek said.
At 57 years old, he says this Father's Day will be special.
"This Father’s Day is going to take on an extra meaning for me. Without you guys, this would have been a whole different scenario," Cheek said.
Cheek and Ladaoucer had only seen each other a few times around the neighborhood. Cheek says this friendship will last a lifetime.
"Will, there's no doubt that he’s the hero that saved my life, and I will never forget that."
Cheek says he's thankful to be alive.
This story was originally published by Leondra Head at WTKR.