An aged man went into cardiac arrest at an NFL playoff game in Cincinnati, Ohio, last weekend. A nurse from Dallas, Jerry Mills, who happened to be at the game was his saving grace.
The nurse, Jerry Mills, was in Cincinnati to watch his favorite team, the Bengals, play against the Raiders. Mills said his brother-in-law, who is the running back coach for the Bengals, gave him tickets to the game.
Mills took time off work to fly to Ohio for the game.
Edward Fernandes, the man who suffered cardiac arrest, was at the same game because he had been given a ticket by his grandson Noah Harsh. According to NBC 5, that was a Christmas surprise from grandson to grandfather.
Harsh said that his grandfather, 78, got out of breath a few times during their walk to Paul Brown Stadium, where the playoff was held.
Fernandes suddenly collapsed and hit his head on the ground. Harsh said he was shocked and was trying to dial 911 when Mills came to help.
Mills was returning to his car to drop off a sweater when the cardiac arrest hit Fernandes. The nurse, who also happened to be a former firefighter, performed CPR on the 78-year-old until more help arrived, and Fernandes was rushed to the hospital. He was assisted by another nurse.
At the hospital, doctors found a valve issue and three blockages in Fernandes’ heart. Harsh says his grandfather was aware of the valve issue but did not know about the blockages.
Fernandes was expected to undergo surgery on Thursday, January 20.
Harsh and Mills spoke for the first time after the incident on Thursday over Zoom. Harsh expressed profound gratitude towards the nurse. “My grandpa Edward thinks you’re a hero. As soon as he’s recovered, he literally said ‘I want to talk to him,’” he stated.
The strangers, who were on opposing sides at the game, hope to inspire others to care for each other regardless of their differences because “it’s the game of life that matters,” as Harsh expressed it.
“If we just put aside all our differences and really just start to care for one another wholeheartedly as humans, I think a lot of this that we deal with daily wouldn’t be so bad,” Mills said, as reported by NBC 5 News.