During last week’s City Council meeting, Mayor Stephen Terrell awarded the Shining Star to Allen resident Jim Sanders, who performed CPR with help from Joe Faulkner on cyclist Kevin Tang until first responders arrived. Faulkner was not able to attend the meeting, but Terrell said he would also be recognized.
Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd said that on June 7 while Tang rode his bicycle, his heart went into ventricular fibrillation (v-fib), a cardiac arrhythmia that can be fatal.
“Essentially his heart stopped,” Boyd said. “When Mr. Sanders arrived to the then-collapsed Mr. Tang, he quickly realized that Mr. Tang’s heart was not beating so he enlisted the help of Mr. (Joe) Faulkner.”
Sanders and Faulkner performed CPR until Keith Clayton and Marcus Corey of the Allen Fire Department arrived and were able to restart Tang’s heart.
“That all happened with in the span of about eight minutes, and so the key part is the bystander CPR that Mr. Sanders provided,” Boyd said. “We probably could have gotten his heart started again, but it’s very difficult to have someone’s heart restarted and have them walking out of the hospital and having them here today with out somebody willing to step up and perform CPR.”
Sanders said he’s a member of a cycling club in Frisco, which had its ride leaders trained in CPR less than three weeks before the incident. But Sanders won’t take the credit.
“I’m a big believer in someone’s will to live, and if Kevin hadn’t had reasons to live ... I don’t know if this would have worked,” he said.
He said when the Allen FD EMTs arrived, they “looked like synchronized swimmers.”
"I don’t think they talked to each other,” he said. “They apparently knew what they were going to do, and Mr. Mayor, I was very proud that day of our first responders.”
Boyd said CPR training is readily available, and the Allen FD offers it for free – the next session is set for Nov. 17.
“This is something that all of us can do for each other to provide them an opportunity like Mr. Tang has to stand with his family here today,” he said.
For information about CPR classes, call 214-509-4400.