MESA, Ariz. (KSAZ) - A Mesa father lives to celebrate his baby daughter's first Christmas, but his family didn't know if he would, after he suffered a heart attack last month.
At the time, Ian Fields was only 37 years old.
Now, on Christmas, the young family recognized the everyday heroes - the firefighters and EMTs - who helped save Ian's life.
"If it wasn't for these guys here, and these ladies, I don't know where we'd be today," said Tara Fields, Ian's wife. "So, I'm very grateful for you guys."
Tears of joy rolled down Tara's face, as she and her family thanked first responders. Just a month ago, Ian suffered a heart attack and collapsed, as he was holding his baby.
Tara immediately called 911, and by the time Mesa firefighters and EMTs arrived, Ian's heart had stopped beating for about five minutes. Medics gave Ian medication and used a defibrillator four times during the ambulance ride, restoring Ian's breathing and pulse.
"Every day, he's been improving and was able to walk out of the hospital," said Tara. "A real miracle and a real blessing."
"To see Mr. Fields walking here with his child and holding his wife, I can't tell you - this is the best Christmas gift I can ask for," said Brian Darling with Mesa Fire Department.
Ian said he doesn't remember the heart attack, nor did he feel any warning signs
"Genetic hypertension, basically," said Ian.
Now, Ian has received another chance to live his life: to celebrate his 38th birthday, to be there when Ava met Santa Claus for the very first time, and to spend more time with his family, something he couldn't wait to do.
Ian now has a pacemaker installed in his heart, and he is hoping to spend more Christmas holidays with the family.