Watch CBS News

Delaware County Man Saved By Help From A Stranger, When Seconds Count

By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Delaware County man is lucky to be alive, thanks to the kindness of a stranger.  3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has the dramatic story.

A sweet kiss these days is extra special for 25-year-old Bobby Hallinan and his girlfriend, Lindsay McMenamin.  Just a month ago he was clinging to life.

"I asked if he was going to make it, and they said they don't, they didn't know," said Lindsay.

"I was really scared," said Mary Hallinan, Bobby's mother.  For days she didn't know if he'd survive.  The odds were bad.

Bobby passed out in an elevator at the airport.  His suffered sudden cardiac arrest.  His heart stopped beating, which is usually deadly.

Airport bystander Sue Hostler, from Western Pennsylvania, came to his rescue.

"He obviously wasn't breathing.  He needed to have CPR, so that was pretty much what I was focused on," said Sue.

When help arrived, Bobby's heart was shocked with an Automated External Defibrillator, and he was rushed to the hospital.

"They had to secure his airway and put him on a ventilator," said Mary.

"It was really hard.  It was really, really hard," said Lindsay.

Bobby quickly received cooling therapy.  Doctors dramatically dropped his body temperature to reduce the risk of permanent brain damage.

"If the hypothermia protocol was not in place he could have recovered from the heart attack, but it might have had anoxic injury, and so he may have been a vegetable.  He may have not being able to talk.  Bobby's prognosis is excellent.  He's recovered his cognitive skills.  His function of the heart has actually recovered," said Dr. Indranil Dasgupta, a doctor who treated Bobby at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

"Just in shock.  Can't really believe it," said Bobby.  He doesn't remember what happened, but realizes now his life was saved by a complete stranger.

Stahl asked Bobby, "I guess you're appreciative."

Bobby replied, "Absolutely.  Can't say enough, she's my guardian angel."

The Hallinan's finally got to meet that stranger, Sue, last week.

While in the hospital, Bobby got an implanted defibrillator, just in case his heart stops beating again.

The Hallinan Family is hosting a Beef and Beer to raise money to help Bobby pay for medical and other expenses.  The event is on November 1st at 7pm at Casey's on 812 N. Lansdowne Ave. in Drexel Hill.  The cost is $30 in advance, $35 at the door.

The family has set up a fund.  Donations can be sent to the Robert Hallinan Fund, Delco Postal Credit Union, 1400 Bywood Ave., Upper Darby, PA 19082.

For more information, visit the links below:

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation-

Robert Hallinan Benefit & Fund Information-

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.