Man learned CPR 2 weeks ago, saves Kitchener heart attack victim's life

Jessica Burman Zinger says a young man is 'a hero and an angel' for giving her husband CPR after he collapsed on the street. Now, she's hoping to reach out to him to say thank you.

'He is a hero and an angel,' Jessica Burman Zinger says of man who saved her husband's life

Jessica Burman Zinger and Lane Burman at their wedding. (Facebook)

Jessica Burman Zinger thought she was watching her husband die after he collapsed on the road outside a Kitchener, Ont., coffee shop on Tuesday.

"I just saw him fall and I thought, did he trip?" Burman Zinger told CBC K-W'sThe Morning Edition host Craig Norris in an interview aired Friday.

"And then I thought maybe he was going into seizures, and then I just, I could see the life draining out of him and I knew it was his heart and I just started going into hysterics."

Just minutes before, Burman Zinger's husband, Lane Burman, 40, had pushed their car out of a snow drift. They then parked the car and were crossing Victoria Street to go to Smile Tiger Coffee when Burman collapsed.

"I just called out, 'Does anyone know CPR?'" Burman Zinger said. "And someone did."

'It wasn't looking good'

People nearby moved Burman off the road, and a young man began to give Burman cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Someone handed Burman Zinger a phone. She called 911 and tried to answer the questions she was being asked, including giving background on her husband's heart arrhythmia, for which he took medication.

"I just kept looking at what was going on and, it wasn't looking good — it was horrible," Burman Zinger said of standing, watching the commotion around her husband.

"Basically, he looked dead. His skin was getting blue, and I mean, I just, I thought it was over right there.

"And then this guy started administering CPR and … all of a sudden [Lane] came to again and started breathing. There was a crowd around him and I was in the crowd and I could see my husband look right at me — find me in the crowd and look right at me — and then he kind of passed out again. Then I couldn't look anymore, and I was just waiting for the ambulance to come."

A young man who said his name is Dylan Duncan performed CPR on Lane Burman Tuesday after Burman collapsed on the street outside Smile Tiger Coffee in Kitchener. Burman's wife, Jessica Burman Zinger, said Duncan's quick actions saved her husband's life. (Kathy Fitzpatrick/CBC)

CPR saved him

Burman was rushed to hospital and miraculously survived.

"He's doing well now. He is in good spirits," Burman Zinger said, adding they hope he will be out of the hospital on the weekend.

After Burman was admitted and being treated, Burman Zinger said she had a moment to talk to the young man who had performed the CPR, because he also came to the hospital.

She learned his name was Dylan Duncan and that he had only been certified in CPR two weeks earlier.

She said she hugged him and thanked him.

"I just said, 'You saved a father and a husband's life today,'" she said.

Burman Zinger said she thought connecting with Duncan later would be easy, but she's found it difficult to locate him.

"I thought it would be easy to just look him up on social media, but he's maybe on SnapChat or something I'm not on," Burman Zinger said.

She wants to reach out to him, and she knows her husband would also like to say thank you, so she is hoping people will be able to help them connect.

Jessica Burman Zinger wants to find Dylan Duncan to thank him for what he did. 'I would say that he is a hero and an angel and he did something so incredible,' Burman Zinger says of Duncan. (Andrea Bellemare/CBC)

'Dylan, you're our hero'

Thursday afternoon, a post appeared on the Christian Horizons Facebook page.

"Christian Horizons celebrates Dylan, a young man with developmental disabilities who saved a man's life," it starts.

It said Dylan was waiting at a bus stop on his way to work when another man had a heart attack.

"Dylan said that medical staff and police informed him that if he had not administered CPR, this man would not be alive; he would not be there for his wife and young children," the post said.

"How did Dylan know to administer CPR? Dylan had a dream to go to culinary college and learn more skills to work in a restaurant. This fall, he started school at Humber College taking the Christian Horizons/Humber College culinary arts program.

"One of the courses he has had to take was First Aid/CPR.The education Dylan is receiving has proven to be invaluable - the investment in just one young man's education has saved another man's life.

"Dylan, you're our hero!"

Burman Zinger completely agrees with that last statement.

"This man doing the CPR, it saved [Lane's] heart, it saved his brain, it saved everything just getting that blood pumping through the body," she said.

"I would say that he is a hero and an angel, and he did something so incredible …. My life would be totally different right now if it wasn't for him."

Listen to the full interview with Burman Zinger on CBC KW's The Morning Edition.


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