Nextdoor post helps reunite nurse, man she helped save

Image 1 of 7

Holiday miracles work in mysterious ways, and a St. Pete man can celebrate his holidays thanks to three strangers.

"It's going to be a merry Christmas because of three angels that stood up and saved my life," said Happy Rideout.

Over the summer, Rideout was walking his dog when he went into cardiac arrest. Joseph Murphy was working nearby and saw Rideout fall to the ground. He ran over to help.

"Somebody falls out, I would hope someone does the same thing for me," Murphy said.

Also nearby was Tom Phillips, a mailman with some CPR training. He came over to help, as well.

Then Julie Mageras, a nurse at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, happened to drive by. She had her kids in the car, but she knew she had to help. Mageras stopped and she helped administer CPR with Phillips.

They went back-and-forth, doing chest compressions, until EMS arrived. But once they were on the scene, Mageras had to leave as Rideout was taken to the hospital. 

After some recovery, Rideout was told the story of how strangers jumped in to save his life, but no one knew the identity of the nurse who stopped to help give him CPR. So Rideout posted the tale on the social networking app, Nextdoor. 

"A Good Samaritan saw me go down and started CPR the best he knew how without training. A women driving by in a (we think) Buick SUV saw this and stopped. She knew what to do and had him call 911 while she correctly performed CPR on me until the EMTs arrived. All we know is she had young kids in her car and was a petite person. Please, if you are this Angel or know someone it could be, please contact me. I want to thank her for saving me. I have made a full (98%) recovery. Thank you so much. God Bless and Merry Christmas."

It wasn't long before word got out and a neighbor knew it Mageras who saved Rideout. 

The two reunited just before the holiday weekend. 

"He was completely blue, with no color, but I knew when I was doing compressions he had color coming back to his face," Mageras recalled for FOX 13 News. "We worked as a team."

Brought together by fate, three strangers made all the difference in the world.

"I survived. I'm alive today just because they did that," said Rideout. "There's no words to express what it means, the gratitude."