PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A heart attack survivor got married Saturday in Phoenix by the man he credits with saving his life.
CPR brought strangers together who formed an unbreakable bond, deepened further by what’s been called a “miracle” wedding. Mark and Michelle Childs said their wedding is made possible by Mark’s hero, their officiant. “The person that saved my life to be the person that’s gonna wed us is just beyond words,” he said.
In August 2017, Mark had what’s known as a widowmaker heart attack at age 50. He didn’t feel well at work and was encouraged to go to urgent care.
Mark made it about 2 miles, pulled into an O’Reilly Auto Parts store, and collapsed. “There was no pulse at all,” said John Fitzpatrick. He just happened to be there and at the time, he was a total stranger. He rushed to Mark and performed CPR. “He was going from gray to grayer. I thought he wasn’t gonna last,” said Fitzpatrick.
“Had John not been there, I wouldn’t be standing here today, and I would not be marrying Michelle today,” said Mark.
First responders arrived on the scene and took him to the hospital. Mark had surgery, was in a coma for days, and suffered third-degree burns from passing out on the hot pavement. His recovery took more than six months and his then-girlfriend Michelle was by his side every step of the way. “I love him. I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said.
Fitzpatrick left his number at the auto parts store, hopeful to hear how Mark was doing. They all connected and met months later in an emotional reunion. “It’s a bond that will be there for the rest of my life,” said Mark.
A simple backyard ceremony at their home surrounded by close friends and family celebrated their love and how much they’ve overcome. “It’s very overwhelming,” said Michelle.
They said having Fitzpatrick be at the heart of it all was the perfect way to honor their remarkable friendship. “It’s a real special privilege,” said Fitzpatrick. “I love him so much and I love Michelle so much,” said Mark.
As a heart attack survivor, Mark wanted to wear a red tie to his wedding and he asked Fitzpatrick to join him. All say the main message of their story is the life-saving power of CPR, and they hope this inspires others to get certified. You can learn more and find a CPR course near you at cpr.heart.org.
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