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Bystanders save driver's life following apparent heart attack

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PROVO — A man who suffered a heart attack while driving along University Avenue was recovering in the hospital Friday, thanks to some Good Samaritans who came to his rescue.

A high school student and a nurse were among those who came to the man's aid Thursday morning near the intersection of Center Street and University Avenue.

"Right as I had placed my order, this guy came running in — the guy who holds the Marley's sign on University — he said someone had pulled over and is having a heart attack," said David Holman, a student at Timpview High School.

Holman ran to see what he could do to help and was the first to call 911.

"He was passed out and he didn't have a pulse when we got to him," the teenager said.

Another passer-by broke out the man's window and suffered serious cuts in the process of helping the driver.

"Pretty soon we had 15 people there — people doing what they could do to help save this guy's life," Holman said.

Cindy Mason happened to be finishing breakfast with friends at the nearby Marley's restaurant as well. A registered nurse, she immediately began performing CPR.

"Just a few seconds can make a huge difference," Mason said. "And the timing, just everything, the way that things played out — this man's very, very lucky that things kinda played the way they did, because it was a very scary situation, and there was a lot of people that were able to help him."

In the 19 years Mason has worked as a nurse, this was the first time she actually had to perform CPR. She works in the maternity ward at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, but she is grateful she has maintained her emergency response training so she could help save a life.

"You just never know, and that is why it is so important that you are up to date on CPR and first aid," she said.

But Mason was quick to point out it was a team effort, and together many people did what they could to help save the driver's life, including the paramedics.

"Everyone is willing to do what they can to save someone and do everything they can do to hopefully make a difference. And for his family, I am really praying that everything turns out OK," she said.

As of Friday evening, Provo police said the man was still in the Intensive Care Unit at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. His name was not released to the public.


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