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WEST CHICAGO, Ill. – Several suburban paramedics were hailed as true lifesavers Monday after they saved the life of a man suffering from a heart attack—and they got a critical helping hand from a civilian who started CPR before they arrived.

Wayne Stringham, 64, suffered a heart attack at the Community Fellowship Church. His friend, Joe Gomilar, and another man were right there with him.

Stringham had no pulse and wasn’t breathing Gomilar immediately started CPR.

“Without him I wouldn’t be standing here,” Stringham said.

“It was scary. As I was doing CPR I kept telling Wayne, Wayne wake up,” Gomilar said.

Gomilar was able to get Stringham breathing again.

That’s when the first responders arrived from the Carol Stream Fire Protection District.

Jeremy Roman, Rusty Grenier, Chad Grandgeorge
and Chris debold using paddles, shocked his heart back to normal and administered drugs.

The first responders and Gomilar were meritoriously recognized by the department for their life-saving efforts.

“Often times we don’t see the person again. It’s extremely humbling to see Wayne and his family walk in,” Lt. Chad Grandgeorge said.

Stringham believes Divine Intervention played a role.

“Hey get in to see a doctor. Get into a church and get with God and love those who are around you,” he said.

And as for Stringham’s wife of 32 years, Sandi. Well as is often the case with many happy marriages, she got the last word.

“I would pray over him and I would tell him if you wake up, I won’t complain about your snoring. I won’t complain about anything you do. I’ll wait on you hand and foot. I woke up and thought, ‘Oh, he’ll forgot about all that, right?’ Oh no, that he remembers,” she said.