WENTZVILLE, Mo. – The moment of life and death shows ever so clear in each chest compression of CPR and in the amount of force being used in a bodycam video.
Memories are vague for Don Findley – he’s the man being resuscitated on camera.
“It was just a regular day,” Findley said. “I was on my way to the house and I was out.”
All Findley said he remembers is driving home on Highway 61.
“I don’t remember until four or five days later when I woke up in the hospital,” he said.
While the moments may be dark for Findley, the memories continue to play back in the minds of Wentzville police officers Justin Houtz and Timothy Sebert who saved his life.
Houtz was first to arrive on the scene to find Findley had driven his car off Highway 61, through an embankment and came to a halt in Valvoline’s lawn.
“When he wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse, I knew I need to act quickly to render aid and that’s when I removed him from the car, put him on the ground and started CPR,” Houtz said.
Nearby, Officer Sebert heard the call but didn’t realize the severity.
“As I’m rolling up, I see Officer Houtz on his knees doing CPR, and at that moment I realized this was not a normal motor vehicle accident,” Sebert said.
The officers use AED to bring Findley back to life – still no luck.
EMS eventually arrived and transported the father to the hospital where he recovered. Doctors determined Findley suffered a heart attack at the wheel.
Following his near-death experience, the father is calling the two officers his guardian angels.
“I was dead and they brought me back,” Findley said. “I can’t thank those guys enough.”
The Wentzville police chief honored Houtz and Sebert with Life-Saving Awards.
Reunited for the first time since February, the three men standing shoulder to shoulder served as not only a reminder of the tireless work of police officers but the lifesaving miracles that happen along the way.
Findley has completely changed his life around. He’s eating better and living a much healthier life right now.
The officers, on the other hand, say they’re no hero and credits the department’s training for their quick reaction.