‘Brought back from the dead.’ 2 Charlotte area men say this will save your life, too.

Jib Street and Jeff Hayton are the lucky ones.

When they went into cardiac arrest — Hayton outside of a Hootie & the Blowfish concert at Charlotte’s PNC Music Pavilion, and Street at the Pineville Ice House hockey rink — trained professionals just happened to be nearby to perform CPR.

People who aren’t as fortunate — those who experience cardiac arrest away from doctors and out of the hospital— are far more likely to die. People die in about 90 percent of those cases, according to the American Heart Association.

Now Street and Hayton say they want to improve the odds for others. On Wednesday, they joined Mecklenburg Medic officials at a news conference to stress both knowing the nearest location of an automated external defibrillator and having the PulsePoint app on your phone.

AEDs deliver an electric shock to the heart through the chest, enabling “a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arrest,” according to the American Heart Association website, heart.org.

The PulsePoint app enables a 911 emergency dispatch center to alert the nearest persons trained in CPR. If you’re having a heart attack, they may even reach you sooner than paramedics.

Jib Street.jpg
Dr. Craig Bryant, left, enjoys a Charlotte Checkers hockey game with Jib Street, whose life Bryant saved by administering CPR when Street collapsed at the Pineville Ice House. Jib Street

Since Medic launched PulsePoint in January, the app has attracted 4,000 local users and alerted citizen emergency responders to 325 possible cardiac arrest calls, Medic officials said Wednesday. The PulsePoint AED app houses a registry of nearby AEDs.

“CPR, especially if administered immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival,” according to the American Heart Association.

Cardiac arrest survivor Jeff Hayton in Charlotte with Mecklenburg MEDIC. Jackie Gilmore - Charlotte Fire Department

‘No pulse’ during cardiac arrest

Neither Street nor Hayton realized they’d gone into cardiac arrest until they woke up in Medic ambulances.

Charlotte Fire Department Capt. Michael Gerin told the Observer after Wednesday’s news conference that a friend alerted him to a man on the ground outside the Hootie & the Blowfish concert he attended.

“I did CPR on him for 10 to 15 minutes,” Gerin said of Hayton, who lives in Denver in eastern Lincoln County.

In Street’s case, he says he “had no pulse, no heart beat,” until Dr. Craig Bryant, who also was at the rink, immediately administered CPR and used an AED to revive him.

“I was brought back from the dead,” Street said.

He has since started a non-profit, www.gameofhearts.org, to spread the word about AEDs, including through NHL Hall of Famer and fellow Canadian Wayne Gretzky and soon through Charlotte pro athletes, he said.

The PulsePoint app is available for Android and iOS for free.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.