Phoenix resident Michelle Dean last month gave a grateful thank you to the Phoenix firefighters from Station 17 (1531 E. Missouri Ave.) who saved her life after collapsing outside TEXAZ Grill, where she works as a server.
“I have no recollection of what happened and I wanted to meet the firefighters who helped me,” Dean said. “The paramedics and the Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital nurses and doctors are the reason why I’m still around.”
This reunion had special significance not only because it was on Valentine’s Day, but it was Dean’s oldest son’s 18th birthday. Alex has wanted to be a firefighter since he was a little boy and he encouraged his mom to meet the firefighters who helped her survive.
Dean, 48, said she didn’t experience any pain before she collapsed outside the restaurant on Jan. 25. Her supervisor performed CPR until paramedics arrived. Her heart stopped on the way to Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital and four more times at the hospital.
“I woke up on Feb. 3 and didn’t know where I was or why I was here,” she said. “My heart stopped five times and I’m lucky to be here.”
In early February, Dean had a stent placed in her heart and a pacemaker defibrillator was implanted as part of her treatment at Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital, 1930 E. Thomas Road.
“I know it is very gratifying for our firefighters to celebrate this important occasion with Michelle,” said Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner. “Early CPR and activation of the 9-1-1 system absolutely saves lives. This is a great example.”