March 24, 2016
As part of his regular workout, Southeast Texas resident Michael Smith often ran sprints at a school track. One workout last year, though, was anything but routine.
While exercising, Smith went into cardiac arrest and collapsed. Cory Parsons, a football coach at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School, saw that Smith was on the ground and unresponsive. He began CPR as others at the track called 911.
First responders and Acadian medics Kendra McKinley and Michael Cummings, a crew dispatched by Bradley Manshack, arrived.
At a reunion in March, Smith and his wife, Anna, had the opportunity to meet those who had worked so hard to save him.
“Without these people, I wouldn’t be here,” he said. “I have a newfound respect for what they do. They say I was out on the track for about 45 minutes, but they never gave up.”
McKinley and Cummings visited Smith in the hospital. “We saw him 27 hours later and told him just how amazing it was to see him sitting upright and talking,” Cummings said. “It was unbelievable.”
McKinley said, “I’m ecstatic for him and his family. He gets to spend more holidays and such with his wife and children. I’m beyond happy.”
Speaking at the reunion, Smith said, “It’s not every day that you meet people that actually care like that. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”