Nov 29, 2021
Austin man saved by New Braunfels couple with AED
Earlier this fall, Ray Pilgrim collapsed while waiting at a TSA checkpoint at Austin’s Bergstrom Airport. At 67 years old, his heart had stopped beating.
Bystanders Crissy and Greg DeArmond sprang into action, dropping their luggage, and using one of the airport’s AEDs. Ray was not breathing normally, so they attached the AED to his chest.
After a single shock, Ray resumed normal breathing. The EMS took him to St. David’s Medical Center, where he was treated and released. Ray recovered quickly, and he is already back to both traveling and playing softball.
After saving Ray, Crissy and Greg caught their flight that morning – to St. Thomas. During the trip, they continued processing everything that transpired and decided to connect with Ray when they returned to Texas. “He looked great alive,” Crissy said of the reunion. “He was in bad shape when we had him. We did our best. We were afraid — we knew that the odds of survival were low. You pray that he’s hopefully okay, and if not, he’s in a good place. To find out he was alive — we got goosebumps.”
This holiday season, Pilgrim says he’s blessed that capable bystanders were in the right place at the right time when he needed them. “If it wasn’t for these two, I wouldn’t be here,” he said. “I thank God. They were sent. How lucky could I get?”