Wisconsin man hailed as hero for saving life of neighbor in cardiac arrest

MEQUON, Wis — A Mequon man heard cries from his new neighbor’s condo and ran to help.  Jeff Tilisch's CPR training from decades ago helped save his life.

“It was being at the right place at the right time,” Zilisch told WITI.

“My heart goes out to him,” said Tim Ridley, whose life was saved. “It’s just amazing.”

It happened in early August, as Zilisch cleaned his garage.

“Halfway across the parking lot, I realized, ‘Oh my gosh! This is not what I thought it was,'” said Zilisch.

Ridley was experiencing cardiac arrest. He was power washing his porch when he passed out.

“At that moment, I just had a cold rush from the neck up, and that’s the last memory I have,” said Ridley.

Zilisch jumped into action, performing CPR until paramedics arrived.

“I haven’t had CPR training in 20 years, and I just went into automatic mode,” said Zilisch.

Dispatchers talked him through it, as Ridley fought for his life.

“I knew it wasn’t his time, and I was like, ‘God, put this life back into this man,'” said Zilisch.

Ridley was rushed to the hospital, where he woke up after 24 hours.

“Certain things had to happen, for everyone to be around, for me to be living, without a doubt,” said Ridley.

The life-saving actions were recognized by the Mequon Common Council Tuesday evening, Sept. 10 — these neighbors forever connected.

“He saved my life, and I’m blessed with that, but he’s the absolute hero in this scenario,” said Ridley.

Both men stressed the importance of CPR training, saying you’ll never know when you might need to use it.

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