Wife saves husband’s life with CPR

Feb. 14, 2024

Bystander CPR saves lives. Andrew Danielson is living proof.

He was talking with his youngest son in the mud room of their house a year ago when he had a heart attack and collapsed, falling backward and splitting his head open.

His son, Barric, immediately called 911 and, following the dispatcher’s instructions, his wife Danielle started doing CPR.

“Your CPR was perfect for bystander CPR,” said Paramedic Greg McIntosh, who was the first to arrive on the scene. “We wouldn’t have had that outcome without you. Your quick actions are what saved Andrew.”

Andrew, Danielle, and their three children came to the Terry’s Corner fire station on Tuesday, Feb. 13, to say thank you to the firefighters and paramedics who responded a year ago.

Captain Paramedic Brandi Mauck, who also responded to Andrew’s heart attack, thanked the Danielsons for reaching out. “We don’t always get to see this happen,” she said. “These calls are the ones that make a difference for us.”

The heart attack Andrew suffered was what doctors call a widowmaker – a full blockage of his heart’s biggest artery. Only 12% of people who suffer a widowmaker outside a hospital setting survive, according to data from the American Heart Association.

Now with a defibrillator and stent, Andrew is back home and back to his active lifestyle – even running the Lover’s Loop 5K in Stanwood this past weekend – though he said it was slow going at first.

“I started walking until I would get dizzy, then I’d go back home,” Andrew said. “I worked up to a couple miles and then tried jogging. I guess I surprised even the doctors.”

Getting a chance to meet the paramedics who responded a year ago brought some closure for everyone.

“Thank you for not giving up,” said Danielle, Andrew’s wife. “That CPR lasted a long time. Thank you for going the extra mile and making it happen.”

For Camano residents interested in learning bystander CPR, Camano Fire offers a 3-hour CPR/AED class on the second Wednesday of each month. Registration is available online at https://camanofire.com/resources-public-education/classes-training/

A man and wife and their three teenage children stand in front of a fire engine, with two paramedics in blue uniforms at either side.