Arizona man thankful after strangers jumped in to save his life as he suffered a heart attack
PHOENIX - An Arizona man has a new lease on life after surviving a heart attack, and doctors said the 60-year-old was at the right place, and at the right time.
On May 13, Tracy Markie's day began with a simple game of pickleball, but the day ended with him in the hospital.
"I wasn’t particularly tired from playing, but I started having chest pains, almost like I had run too much. It was burning," Markie recounted.
Markie quickly knew something was wrong.
"It just started radiating, getting worse, into my left arm," said Markie.
Markie then knew he was having a heart attack.
"I got up to the front lobby here, and told the staff here ‘you need to call 9-1-1’" Markie recounted.
Survellience video shows people jumping to action with —as one person set Markie down on a bench, a front desk staff member called for help. Markie said he was being comforted before paramedics arrived minutes later to take him to the hospital.
"The kind of heart attack I had is called a ‘widowmaker,’ and has very low survival statistics," said Markie.
Markie said quick actions helped save him on May 13.
"I’ve been told that’s probably what saved my life," said Markie.
Days after that brush with death, Markie said he wants this message to hit home to everyone watching.
"If you think something is wrong - if you’re feeling that kind of a pain - don’t be stubborn. Don’t try to be a tough guy," said Markie.
Meanwhile, Markie said he is now thankful for each day ahead, and he has a new friendship with the two people who touched his life in a way few others can claim to have done.
"How do you say thank you for that?" said Markie, as he holds back tears. "It’s pretty hard to say the words."
Markie said another thing also helped him that day: he was actually supposed to be on a remote fishing trip with his college buddies. If he had been there, Markie said he is confident that he would not have survived.