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Man who suffered heart attack wants to find and thank strangers who saved his life

Posted at 9:15 PM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-20 22:56:40-05

TULSA, Okla. — When Julie and Gary Talley were married in 2016, they say it was a match made in heaven.

“He was the man I prayed for,” said Julie. “He’s my sweet Gary.”

“She’s just amazing,” said Gary.

The two are inseparable.

“I love to just lay on his chest because that is my favorite song, his heart beat,” said Julie. “It’s just soothing and even more soothing to hear it, because for 22 minutes it wasn’t there.”

On a Friday, Oct. 11, the couple and their two kids went to Tally’s Good Food Café.

“We get there and he’s making dad jokes about the salad,” said Julie.

But then things suddenly changed.

“He laid his head on my shoulder, I thought he was just trying to warm me up, but then I looked over and screamed,” said Julie. “He was blue and his jaw was clenched.”

“I had no pain in my chest no pain shooting down my arm like they always say, nothing,” said Gary.

Just as quickly as Gary went into cardiac arrest, strangers eating nearby came to his rescue.

“It was the nurse that gave CPR, there was the waitress that let me use her phone, there was a gentleman wearing a black hoodies that came over to distract the kids to distract some of that and there was a gentleman that was lifting and lowering his feet while we were doing CPR on him,” said Julie.

"That split decision of 'do I go help or do not, do I stand back and be a bystander, and because they didn't do that I was given the gift of more time,” said Julie said.

“It’s clear that that’s what saved him, there’s no question at all, no question whatsoever,” said Mr. Talley’s Cardiovascular Doctor, Robert Smith, MD. “Probably about 5% of people that have an out of hospital arrest or fewer will actually go on to survive.”

Julie is familiar with those odds, not because she is a cardiovascular nurse but because she had already lost someone to a heart attack.

“My mom died of a massive heart attack when I was 19, the last thing she said to me was ‘today is going to be a good day and it's only going to get better’,” said Julie.

Now, Gary and Julie want to find the strangers who helped them.

“There is no other way to describe it, it was 100%, no one can ever tell me it was nothing but God’s timing and Gods place. That was our miracle,” said Julie Talley. “I want to say thank you. They need to know what they did.”

If you know who the any of the people are who helped the Talley family on Friday, Oct. 11, call the 2 Works for You station at 918-748-1590.

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