MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - First responders had to shock Greg Eubanks eight times before his heartbeat returned in a scary incident at MSP Airport.
Had it not been for the TSA agents jumping in to help as fast as they did, Eubanks believes he wouldn’t be alive today.
“I look at Aug. 10 and that’s basically my new birthday now,” he said.
From his southern California home, Eubanks and his wife Laura Eubanks celebrate his new lease on life.
“I was given a second chance and I’m just so thankful,” Eubanks said.
“I just looked at him while he slept after I got him home and I just cried,” Laura said. “I just couldn’t stop crying. I was so thankful, so relieved.”
After visiting his parents in Indiana, Eubanks headed back home. He was going to his connecting flight to San Diego at MSP when, without warning, he collapsed to his knees and fell on his face in front of a TSA entry point.
Fortunately, TSA agents Brittany Sutton and Eric Jones rushed to help.
“They were able to respond within 30 seconds of that,” Eubanks said.
“He got the entire bundle of care for cardiac arrest resuscitation - early 911, early CPR by the TSA agents, early use of the automated AED or automated external defibrillator that was on the side of the wall,” said Charles Lick, the medical director at Allina Health EMS. “Then, when professional resucers got there, they did high-performance CPR.”
The response included Elegard, a new device that allows for head-up CPR.
“The airport is one of the first places in the nation to have this device; they just implemented it,” Lick said.
At the hospital, Eubanks, a father of four with one grandchild and two on the way, was in a medically-induced coma while his family scrambled to Minneapolis.
“If it weren’t for how quickly these people acted, for how unselfishly they acted, for how unfearfully they acted, Greg would be dead and so many lives would be irrevocably changed,” Laura said.
Once he emerged from his coma, Eubanks’ family began an online search for the agents who saved his life. Later, they even stopped by to visit.
“When I first met them, all I could do was hug them and just cry,” Eubanks said.
“The legacy they restored is completely overwhelming and honestly, I don’t know if I would have the courage to do what they did,” Laura said. “They’re remarkable. They’re heroes. We owe them absolutely everything.”
The Eubanks plan to keep the life-savers close, even from afar.
“I owe my life to Eric and Brittany,” Eubanks said. “They’re a part of my extended family right now and always will be from here on out.”
“I just want them to know that I love them with all my heart and I owe everything to them,” he added.
Five days after Eubanks woke up from his coma, he was able to return home to California. He’s now taking things one day at a time, but says if Brittany and Eric don’t go to San Diego to see him, he’ll visit them.