‘I just thank God I was here at the right time’: Chesterfield man thanks neighbor for saving his life after heart stops

Jim Glaser is thanking his neighbor for saving his life after he was walking home and his heart completely stopped.
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 5:09 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Jim Glaser thanks his neighbor for saving his life after walking home, and his heart completely stopped.

Every day in the Highland community, you’ll find retired veteran Jim Glaser strolling the neighborhood, completing his mile walk to stay in shape.

“I walk every evening around 7:30 p.m. I start here [his house], go up Seaview, go up to Highland Glen, and walk around the block,” said Glaser. “I enjoy seeing the neighbors, and of course, I love the neighborhood. I say hi to everybody.”

But during one particular walk, while talking to a neighbor, something unusual happened; he fainted just feet from that neighbor.

“As I turned to go home, my head got very light. The next thing you know, I woke up inside an ambulance,” said Glaser. “My heart had just stopped. It’s called ventricular tachycardia. It wasn’t a heart attack; it was a like short circuit in the electrical system. The survival rate of something like this is 8-10% outside of a hospital environment. Had I made it like up to here [a section on his street without houses], 100 yards away, I would’ve been dead.”

Retired Army Veteran Hosea Coley
Retired Army Veteran Hosea Coley((Source: Hosea Coley))

But that neighbor Hosea Coley, a retired Veteran who recalled his training from the Army, knew what to do.

“I put these two fingers close to the neck, and there was no pulse at all, and I said, ‘see, something isn’t right,’” said Coley.

Coley then jumped into action, performing CPR.

“And I was pumping, and I was pumping, and I was pumping,” said Coley.

For 25 minutes straight - no breaks - Coley pumped away while he instructed another neighbor to call 911.

“And I kept pumping again, pumping again, pumping again, and still no pulse,” said Coley.

Once the ambulance arrived, EMTs used a defibrillator on Glaser.

“When they shocked him the first time, it was nothing. Then they shocked him again; there was nothing,” said Coley.

Immediately, Coley sprung back into action and helped with compressions.

“So, I said, ‘shucks, we got to keep pumping.’ I kept pumping and pumping, and the guy was looking at me like I was crazy, and I was like, ‘c’mon, we got to keep pumping,’” said Coley.

The paramedics then shocked Glaser a 3rd time, and still nothing. Moments later, another crew came to assist, and eventually, Glaser came to.

“When they put him in the back of the rescue squad, I saw him do this; he grabbed the machine. I said, ‘oh good, he’s back,’” said Coley.

At the hospital, Glaser received a pacemaker. The pacemaker will shock Glaser’s heart if it stops again during his usual routine walks.

“I just kept praying, saying, ‘Lord, it’s all in your hands,’” said Coley. “I just thank God I was here at the right time.”

Glaser says he thanks God for his neighbor for stepping up when he needed help the most.

“I’m very fortunate, grateful to been in this neighborhood, and I’m also grateful to not make it halfway home,” said Glaser.

Back on his feet again, Glaser is thankful for all the hands that helped him, especially Coley’s, because now he can walk his beloved neighborhood again.

“If I had to do it all over again, I’ll do it all over again. You mean a lot to me,” said Coley. “But take care of yourself because I don’t want you to run across that situation again.”

Glaser responded to Coley with a smile and said, “yes, dear.”

If you would like to sign up for CPR training in your area, click here.

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