Six months ago, George Dakin Jr. had been walking down the sidewalk when he suddenly went into cardiac arrest and fell to the ground. His heart stopped before he even hit the pavement, and for 28 minutes, Dakin was dead.
The 64-year-old architect is now only alive to tell the tale thanks to a homeless man who had been drinking coffee near to the spot where he collapsed.
Dakin was fortunate enough to collapse in front of CHAMP Homes Inc.–a faith-based shelter for homeless people in transitional housing based in Hyannis, Massachusetts. 54-year-old Austin Davis was inside the building when he heard someone outside scream for help.
Davis, who had only just been given CPR training at CHAMP a few days previously, ran over to Dakin’s motionless body and started giving chest compressions. Davis was conducting CPR for ten minutes before paramedics arrived and loaded Dakin into the ambulance.
Dakin had suffered 100% blockage in his LAD artery. This condition has been called “the widowmaker” because it is almost always fatal. Only after 18 more minutes of CPR and defibrillator shocks were paramedics able to get a pulse out of Dakin.
“No one could believe it,” Dakin told Patch. “The ambulance folks didn’t believe it. The doctors didn’t believe it. They said if you’re in the hospital and you have an LAD blockage in the hospital you won’t survive it — even if you’re in the hospital!”
As a means of thanking Davis for helping to save their father from certain death, Dakin’s kids created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the homeless man.
Jodi Dakin Loughlin said: “Austin is not a drinker. He does not do drugs. He is always very well put together. He has a lovely personality and I know he can rise above this situation with our help.”
“He is doing EVERYTHING right to escape his circumstantial homelessness– but the hurdle is TREMENDOUS. Odds of escaping homelessness are about as bleak as walking away from a heart attack,” she added.
The family has since been able to raise $15,000, which is being spent on a 2012 Toyota Corolla; the security deposit and rent for an apartment; health insurance; and gas cards – all of which will help get Davis out of transitional housing.
Since the Dakins have started their efforts, Davis’s place of work–a hotel in Hyannis–has also promoted the homeless man from his former part-time position to a full-time position. Jodi says that this will be especially beneficial in keeping Davis on his feet.
“[The General Manager] assured me that Austin is well worth this investment for the hotel, and he is an employee with great pride in his work and a wonderful personality,” says Jodi.
Jodi has also expressed endless gratitude towards the multiple donors and community members who have helped her repay Davis for his kindness.
“I am in awe of the generosity of our friends, family, and total strangers who have banded together to help Austin Davis rise out of homelessness,” says Jodi. “This is unbelievable. Thank you all so much.”