by Becky GINOS
FARMINGTON— Steve Lewis’ life changed in an instant Jan. 29. If not for some heroes who stopped to help he wouldn’t be here today. It was only his second day on the job as a deputy with the Davis County Sheriff’s Office when he suffered a massive heart attack while out exercising.
Last week, Lewis had the opportunity to meet his rescuers and say thank you at a special awards ceremony hosted by the DCSO.
“We want to recognize these outstanding citizens who went above and beyond to save a stranger,” said DCSO Public Information Officer Det. Ty Berger. “On Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. in Clearfield, Steve Lewis had a heart attack event. Four citizens stopped, called 911 and did CPR until he was transported to Davis Hospital. They reestablished a heart rate as a direct result of these four citizens who did CPR with compassion and accuracy.”
If more people knew CPR more lives would be saved said Debbie Eaves with Davis Hospital education. “Lives are cut short if people don’t know it,” she said. “Even if you haven’t taken a CPR class you can help. Stop and call 911 and push as fast and as hard as you can in the center of the chest until help arrives. You actually become the heartbeat for that person until their heartbeat can be restored.”
Lewis, who said he’s 100 percent and has been back on light duty for about three weeks thanked everyone who helped. “You only have to look around the room to see the impact you had by helping one person that day,” he said. “My first recollection was when I came to in the hospital – it was a bit of a shock.”
Nancy Mikkelson and her daughter Monica were driving down the road when she saw a man on the sidewalk. “Nobody else had stopped to help,” said Mikkelson. “I saw this cute man with a sweet face and I knew he was a good person. I checked his airway.”
Mikkelson said she’s always rescuing dogs, birds or cats. “This was our best find,” she laughed. “I told him to always be the good person that you are and have dignity and respect. Don’t lower yourself down to their level. Thank you to all of you whether you are hired to do this or just passing by – you’re all heroes. Thank you for reaching out and putting your life on the line.”
Lewis’ wife Susan Green said her husband has always been fit. “He was getting prepared for the police academy and he was doing sprints on the street while I cheered him on,” she said. “When he wasn’t coming back I went around the corner and sensed something was wrong. I saw two ladies working on somebody. I didn’t want to believe it.”
Green was able to hold his hand and tell him to fight until the ambulance arrived. “There are no accurate words that could touch the depth of gratitude,” she said. “I can never repay them. Cherish life. Every day is a gift.”
“It really takes a village,” said DCSO Capt. Arnold Butcher. “We can’t be everywhere we’ve got to depend on our citizens. We get to see the joys and sorrows. Too many times we see the sorrow so we celebrate the joys and success – especially since he’s one of our own.”
Lewis is just grateful to be alive. “I’m amazed at the response and speed they helped. Especially a stranger, it’s just fantastic,” said Lewis. “We’re connected for the rest of our lives.”