A local grandmother reunited with a team of young lifeguards Wednesday who saved her life at the Hazelwood Aquatic Center. During last month's heat wave, the 68-year-old Florissant resident went into cardiac arrest. Swim lesson coordinator Anne Fitzgerald, 20, noticed her passed out on a chair.
"Honestly, I don't think that whole scenario will ever be out of my head," Fitzgerald said. "It was really scary but I'm proud that we all worked together."
It really was a team effort to save Martha Timblin's life. Hazelwood city and emergency officials presented Fitzgerald, Juliana Giesler, Travis Vancil, Elizabeth Schneider, Shelby Croghan, Halle Durand, Zack Taylor, Alexandra Boyd, Zack Komm and Ke'Aira Robinson with Life-Saving Awards.
"Everybody knew what they needed to do and we were all communicating well," Fitzgerald said. "It's an honor to be recognized among these other people."
As for Timblin? She's doing much better now.
"It turns out I have something called Long QT Syndrome," she said.
She has no memory of the rescue.
"I missed everything," she said. "I had no sense of anything dire happening."
But she'll always remember the reunion with the people who saved her life.
"When I first walked in, I got a little choked up," Fitzgerald said. "We heard that day that she was doing better and she was stable but actually seeing her in person was a little bit of a shock but obviously really cool."
"Thank you so much," Timblin said. "Because of you, I'm still here. I feel fine. I'm grateful. Every minute is because somebody else did what they were trained to do and it worked."
Timblin says, instead of writing everyone thank-you cards, she plans to write them each a letter of recommendation, which they could use for college applications.