On Sept. 3, 2019, John and Marianne Wiebe were looking forward to the arrival of their seventh grandchild.
That day now leaves them both very grateful for a different reason.
“I am happy to be here and I would not be, except for several miraculous things.”
The 70-year-old went into cardiac arrest during a slo-pitch game in Saskatoon’s north end.
That’s when his teammate, Dave Hume, jumped into action.
“I recognized his breathing efforts as possible cardiac problem from past experience,” Hume explained.
“I ripped his shirt open and started doing chest compressions.”
Hume is a 15-year CPR veteran. He has an extensive background in community advocacy for public knowledge and access to an automated external defibrillator (AED) and CPR training.
“I’ve done it many thousands of times on mannequins, but I’ve never done it on an actual human being,” Hume said.
“It just kind of kicked in and I just did what I learned.”
At the time, he instructed others to grab a nearby AED and call 911.
“His immediate response made the difference — minutes matter,” Marianne Wiebe said.
First responders arrived on the scene within three minutes and found John connected to the defibrillator.
“Thankful to everyone who helped that day,” Marianne said.
“If it wouldn’t have been for Dave and those seconds — John would not be here today.”
Hume’s heroic efforts earned him a merit award from the Saskatoon Fire Department.
Fire officials said his quick-thinking was critical — as it can take less than five minutes for irreversible brain damage to occur.
“It’s really important that people recognize what those events are and that they know how to do perform CPR and use an AED,” said battalion chief Len Protz.
It’s a sentiment the Wiebe’s now also echo.
“One of my main takeaways from this event is how critical it is to have an AED nearby,” John said.
According to John, he is doing “very well.”
He’s living with an implanted cardiac defibrillator and is forever thankful for Dave’s “quick response.”