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Heart Attack Patient Reunited With Restaurant Manager Who Saved His Life

(CBS) — You might call this “The Miracle on Rush Street.” A man suffered what seemed to be a fatal heart attack at a popular restaurant, but a manager there never gave up trying to save his life.

Monday, the two were reunited. CBS 2’s Jim Williams was there.

On Sunday, Sept. 21, Mike Perlen nearly died at Hugo’s on Rush Street.

A heart attack had dropped him to the floor. Manager Kathy O’Malley rushed over from Hugo’s sister restaurant next door, Gibsons.

“His tongue was swollen and sticking out of his mouth, and he didn’t have a pulse,” she says.

Perlen appeared to be dead, but O’Malley would not accept that outcome. She used the restaurant’s defibrillator on their longtime customer.

“Next thing I know, four days later, I’m waking up out of a coma,” Perlen says.

On Monday, he surprised O’Malley to thank her.

Chicago Fire Department commissioner Jose Santiago gave O’Malley an award, saying, “There’s no doubt that she saved a life.”

He also thanked Gibsons and Hugo’s for having a defibrillator and training staff how to use it.

Perlen had heart surgery and says he’s doing fine. The Gibsons restaurants have had defibrillators for several years. Employees there have also learned CPR.

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