By Terry Miller
Dr. Allen Warner asked media at Pasadena Fire Station 32 Saturday afternoon, “How do you possibly thank someone for saving your life…?” With tears in his bright blue eyes, the Long Beach doctor was moments away from meeting the very man who saved his life in February.
The Long Beach doctor who specializes in Nephrology was given CPR February 26 after suffering a cardiac arrest while working out at a Long Beach Gym.
The former Washington Redskins football player now a Pasadena paramedic / firefighter just happened to be working out at the same gym when he saw Dr. Warner collapse.
What happened next is a sea of people started to try to help Dr. Warner but paramedic Manuel White knew exactly what to do…” My training automatically kicked in _ it was like an out-of-body experience….I took charge of the situation and told the others assisting that I was a paramedic/firefighter.”
White took over, gave CPR while a gym instructor ran to get a portable defibrillator. That’s when they got a pulse back.
At the meeting Saturday, Dr. Warner joked with Manny White by asking him if he did mouth to mouth as part of the CPR that day at the gym. White replied in the affirmative and Dr. Warner quipped “ Oh my, I’ve been kissed by a man….”
The two men laughed and hugged one another.
Warner received a pacemaker and defibrillator to prevent another cardiac event.
The Long Beach physician searched weeks for the name of the man who saved his life and with the help of his sister, was finally able to meet Pasadena firefighter Manuel White on Saturday for saving his life – the two now are “bonded for life…” said Dr. Warner.
Warner said he was working out at L.A. Fitness when he suffered the sudden cardiac arrest.
Pasadena Fire Chief Bertral Washington noted that 300,000 people experience sudden cardiac arrest every year. Many appear healthy with no known heart disease.
“Sadly, only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander,” Washington said. Washington stressed the importance of learning CPR, especially those close to you as most incidents occur in the home, statistically.
The Pasadena Fire Department will soon offer sidewalk CPR classes.
Firefighter /Paramedic Manuel White is a 7-year veteran of the Pasadena Fire Department, who is married to his wife Maria of 9 years and is a father of two boys Isaiah (5) and Evan (2).
The firefighters at station 32 provided a firehouse meal of Tacos for Dr Warner and his wife, Cathy.