TOP STORIES Steve's heart stopped five times. His wife's quick...

Steve’s heart stopped five times. His wife’s quick thinking helped save his life

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Annette and Steve Kline talk to emergency dispatcher Chris Cooke months after their ordeal.

Monica Munoz / SDFD Communications Department


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Monica Munoz / SDFD Communications Department


Annette and Steve Kline talk to emergency dispatcher Chris Cooke months after their ordeal.

Monica Munoz / SDFD Communications Department

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

Although she had no medical training, Annette rushed into action and performed CPR on him 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 the life-saving advice when he told her how to get her husband’s heart racing again. She said he also made sure she stayed calm and focused as she walked to work.

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

SDFD Communications Department/Monica Muñoz


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SDFD Communications Department/Monica Muñoz


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

SDFD Communications Department/Monica Muñoz

“It all started with the dispatcher saying the perfect words to me,” Annette said. “And the way he talked to me was like, ‘Put your feelings aside, just get going and follow orders.’

Cook taught her what he called “manual resuscitation.”

This method is as effective as regular CPR, according to the American Heart Association, but is much easier to perform for those without a medical background.

Video guide to CPR from the Heart Foundation.

YouTube

Once in the care of paramedics, Steve needed to be resuscitated five times in just 43 minutes after cardiac arrest. He then underwent emergency rehabilitation, which included physical, occupational and speech therapy, and has now made a full recovery.

Last week, almost nine months after the ordeal, the Klines were able to meet with the first rescuers who helped them that night, including the fire captain, members of the ambulance crew and Cook.

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

SDFD Communications Department/Monica Muñoz


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SDFD Communications Department/Monica Muñoz


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

SDFD Communications Department/Monica Muñoz

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

“I first spoke to her. I said I’m not a hero, firefighters are not heroes… you’re a hero,” Cook said.

Now Annette and Steve are planning to write a book about their experiences. They said their goal was to encourage others to make the most of the time left in their lives.

“We want to touch millions of lives with this,” Steve said. “Because it’s this ‘I don’t know why this happened’ moment.” But it was so important to us, and there must be a reason why it happened. And so we want to share it.”

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

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

SDFD Communications Department/Monica Muñoz


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SDFD Communications Department/Monica Muñoz


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

SDFD Communications Department/Monica Muñoz

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