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Oro Valley woman thanks paramedics, bystanders for saving her life

Posted at 1:34 PM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 16:48:14-04

ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) -- How do you thank the people who saved your life?

"I mean there are just no words," said Oro Valley woman Penny Krug. "But it was very emotional and I am so grateful because they really did there job well with me."

On July 29th, Krug was dropping off a gift for a friend in a neighborhood near Shannon and Overton. As she was driving off, she says she felt like she couldn't breathe. 

"The last thing I remember is I was trying to get the air out of the AC, and the next thing I knew I was in the hospital," Krug said. 

Krug lost consciousness and crashed her car into someone's front yard. Jamie Barron lives across the street, and her 29-year-old son just happened to look out the window and see Krug's car. 

Barron's son urged her to call 911. When they looked into the car, Krug was not conscious and the doors and windows were locked. 

Within minutes crews with the Mountain Vista Fire District arrived. Deputies with the Pima County Sheriff's Department also were on scene, and helped break Krug out of her SUV.

Chad Buda, a paramedic with Mountain Vista, says Krug had no pulse and wasn't breathing. They immediately began giving her CPR. On the way to the hospital Advanced Life Support measures were taken, and by the time the ambulance reached the hospital Krug was able to talk.

Krug ended up staying in the hospital for 5 days. Doctors have not been able to tell her what happened, Krug said, but she did go into cardiac arrest. 

Recently the fire crews that assisted Krug got the chance to meet their patient.

"It was awesome," Buda said. "It's not every day that you get to see a patient that you're dealing with after the call, so it was good."

Captain Felipe Torres says his crews go through extensive training to respond to these types of calls. 
 
"We run through a lot of these calls through our career, but the stars and the planets sort of aligned for this one," Torres said.  
 
Torres says timing is critical, and it helped that Barron called 911 right away. Barron says she doesn't feel like a hero, just fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.
 
On Tuesday Krug stopped by Barron's house just to say thank you.
 
"It's a great feeling," Barron said. "I'm so glad she's here."
 
Krug says she doesn't have any ongoing health problems because of the incident and is back to her daily routine, which includes watching her grandsons after school.

"All your life you hear your life is so short," Krug said. "But when something like this happens, you know life is really short, and it can change just like that."

The Mountain View Fire District says if you see someone in distress the best thing you can do is call 911 immediately. Crews also urge people to learn CPR.