Steve’s heart stopped five times. His wife’s quick thinking saved his life:

Annette and Steve Cline talk to 911 dispatcher Chris Cook months after their ordeal.

Mónica Muñoz/SDFD Communication Department

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Mónica Muñoz/SDFD Communication Department

Steves heart stopped five times His wifes quick thinking saved

Annette and Steve Cline talk to 911 dispatcher Chris Cook months after their ordeal.

Mónica Muñoz/SDFD Communication Department

Steve Cline was at home with his wife Annette last December when his heart suddenly stopped.

Although she had no medical training, Annette sprung into action and gave her CPR for six minutes until an ambulance arrived.

“The love of my life saved my life,” the 70-year-old said.

Annette thanks 911 dispatcher Chris Cook for life-saving advice as he told her how to get her husband’s heart beating again. She said he also made sure to keep her calm and focused as she drove to work.

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Steve Cline [left]Chris Cook and Annette Cline meet for the first time.

SDFD Communications Department/Mónica Muñoz

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SDFD Communications Department/Mónica Muñoz

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Steve Cline [left]Chris Cook and Annette Cline meet for the first time.

SDFD Communications Department/Mónica Muñoz

“It all started with the dispatcher saying the perfect words to me,” Annette said. “And the way he spoke to me was like, you know, ‘Put your feelings aside, take action and follow orders.'”

Cook trained her in what’s called “hands-only CPR.”

It’s a technique that the American Heart Association says is effective like conventional CPR, but is much easier to perform for those without medical training.

The Heart Foundation’s Hands-Only CPR video guide.

Youtube

Once in the custody of paramedics, Steve had to be resuscitated five times in just 43 minutes after going into cardiac arrest. He then underwent acute drug rehab – which included physical, occupational and speech therapy – and has now made a full recovery.

Last week, nearly nine months after the ordeal, the Clines were able to meet the first responders who helped them that night, including the fire captain, ambulance crew members and Cook.

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Left to right: SDFD Firefighter Bree Moreland, SDFD Firefighter/Paramedic Roy Staten, SDFD Captain Jonathan Harris, Steve Cline, Annette Cline, Falck Paramedic Andrew McClanahan and Falck EMT John Trevino III.

SDFD Communications Department/Mónica Muñoz

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SDFD Communications Department/Mónica Muñoz

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Left to right: SDFD Firefighter Bree Moreland, SDFD Firefighter/Paramedic Roy Staten, SDFD Captain Jonathan Harris, Steve Cline, Annette Cline, Falck Paramedic Andrew McClanahan and Falck EMT John Trevino III.

SDFD Communications Department/Mónica Muñoz

Cook gives all the credit to Annette, though. He said if she hadn’t acted so quickly, the outcome could have been much worse.

“I have to talk to him for the first time. I said, I’m not the hero, the firefighters are not the hero… you’re the hero,” Cook said.

Annette and Steve are now planning to write a book about their experience. They said their goal was to encourage others to make the most of the time they had left in life.

“We want to touch the lives of a million people on this,” Steve said. “Because it’s such a ‘I don’t know why it happened’ moment. But it was so powerful for us, and there must be a reason why it happened. And so, we want to share it.”

But before all that, Annette expressed her gratitude to the first responders with a gift – a box of homemade chocolate chip cookies.

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The chocolate treat was Steve and Annette’s way of saying thank you.

SDFD Communications Department/Mónica Muñoz

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SDFD Communications Department/Mónica Muñoz

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The chocolate treat was Steve and Annette’s way of saying thank you.

SDFD Communications Department/Mónica Muñoz

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