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One Year Later, Heart Attack Victim Meets Airport Bystanders Who Saved His Life

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(CBS) – A man nearly died at O’Hare Airport going through security a year ago when he had a heart attack.

On Friday, the victim got to meet those who stepped in and saved his life.

CBS 2’s Mai Martinez was there for the reunion.

For Wade Anderson and his wife, Diane, they appeared relaxed and were able to smile this week. It was no laughing matter last July 9.

That’s when strangers were all desperately trying to save Wade’s life after he collapsed from a heart attack as he and his wife approached a TSA screening area. The couple watched surveillance video of the event for the first time this week.

“I thought he was gone and they were like angels out of nowhere,” Diane Anderson says. “If it wasn’t for those people who stepped up right away, he wouldn’t be here today.”

TSA worker Regina Swain was one of the first to help.

“I looked down and he wasn’t breathing,” she says.

She called for an ambulance and started performing CPR. Her colleague Jacob Neal rushed over to help and quickly took over.

“You look at it like someone is part of your family, and you know he probably has kids and family,” Neal said.

Officer Patrick McGrath and off-duty nurse Raquel Prendkowski also stepped in to help as his wife watch on in shock. It didn’t look good for Anderson, even after a defibrillator was used twice. On the third attempt — to the amazement of everyone – they got a heartbeat.

It was just a real powerful moment, hoping for the best,” McGrath says.

Wade Anderson was in a medically induced coma for two weeks but later recovered from his ordeal.

Anderson and his wife plan to keep in touch with everyone they met Friday. They are all even planning a nice dinner to catch up.

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