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Reunion at MSP: Minnesota Resident Reconnects with Rescuers Who Saved Him from Cardiac Arrest

May expressed his gratitude, stating, “I’m only here because of these individuals up here, so I just wanted to say: ‘Thank you.’”

In St. Paul, Minnesota, amidst the constant flow of travelers, Jay May found himself surrounded by strangers at the airport. Little did he know that these strangers, waiting alongside him for their luggage, would play a crucial role in saving his life.

Reflecting on the incident, May mentioned, “I’m here for a reason; don’t know yet. Hopefully at some point, I’ll figure it out.”

The pivotal moment occurred last summer when May collapsed while waiting for his luggage at baggage claim in MSP’s Terminal 1 after returning from Alaska. Struggling to recollect the events, he had suffered a cardiac arrest, marking the second such episode within a year, with the previous one happening in February.

Recalling the first incident, May emphasized, “My first episode was in a parking lot in a parking garage. There were no AED’s anywhere out there. I should have never survived the first go around.”

Mark Kortesma, who witnessed the collapse, vividly remembered the sound of May hitting his head. He, along with his wife Kirsten and another bystander named Kyle Menza, sprang into action, utilizing an AED to revive May before the arrival of emergency personnel.

Despite having no recollection of the events, May reunited with his rescuers for the first time since the incident. Their heroic efforts were acknowledged by the Twin Cities chapter of the American Heart Association, emphasizing the importance of equipping bystanders with life-saving skills.

Dr. Haitham Hussein, the board of directors president for the chapter, highlighted, “This set of knowledge and skill can transform a nation of bystanders into a nation of lifesavers.”

The trio received a plaque in recognition of their bravery, yet for May, the true reward was simply being in the presence of those who had saved him.

Expressing his profound gratitude, May reiterated, “Don’t want to go through it again. But I’m only here because of these folks up here, so I just wanted to say: ‘Thank you.’”