Joe Flak was watching his daughter’s gymnastics tournament at Shrewbury High School in Massachusetts when the unthinkable happened.
He was having a conversation with another parent when suddenly, he collapsed, completely unconscious. His pulse had stopped.
It was at that exact moment that 11-year-old Riley Olander was walking by when she saw the commotion.
A crowd had begun to form around the body of Joe, and when she heard people calling for help, Riley knew just what to do.
The young girl ran over to her mom, Amy O’Connor, who is a pediatric nurse at UMass Memorial Medical Center.
Amy quickly ran forward, broke through the crowd, and checked on Joe.
It was there that she noticed he had no pulse.
She rapidly jumping into action, calling on her skills as a nurse to administer CPR.
“My chest is still sore,” Joe recalled in the video below, harkening back to Amy slamming his chest in an effort to resuscitate him.
Heroically, Amy was able to reactivate his pulse by the time emergency responders arrived on the scene.
In a press conference that occurred on Monday, March 20, Joe was able to reunite with Amy and Riley, thanking them for their efforts to save his life.
“It’s an example of people not just going about their own business, that someone will step out of their normal life to help someone,” Joe said. “To me, they’re real heroes.”
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