In a heartstopping story that might qualify as one of the worst first dates ever, an anesthesiologist helped save the life of her partner on a California beach after he collapsed following a morning of surfing. Dr. Andi Traynor, 45, and Max Montgomery, 56, had been surfing together on Capitola Beach in Santa Cruz, California, last October when he suffered a heart attack shortly after leaving the water. Unable to find his pulse, Traynor immediately began performing CPR on Montgomery with the help of another woman, a licensed nurse, who happened to be passing by, until an ambulance could arrive to transport him to the hospital. Remarkably, the whole incident was also accidentally captured on camera by a composer, Alexander Baker, 58, who was filming a time-lapse of the beach’s seagulls.
Ten months later, Montgomery has made a full recovery and is discussing the brush with death — and the relationship that has grown out of Traynor helping save his life. Speaking to The Daily Mail, Traynor said that the two now joke that her performing CPR on him was the most bizarre first kiss of their lives.
“Two days before our first date, Max told me he had a crush on me and I was really interested. We had been friends for a little while and I was really interested in spending some more time together … When they took him away in the ambulance, I didn’t know if he was going to live,” recalled Traynor.
“It was surreal … it was embarrassing,” added Montgomery. “I finally told this woman I really liked I had a crush on her and she had said it back. Who wants to date someone who just had a heart attack?”
Traynor said that she was in tears after Montgomery called her from the hospital after he was resuscitated.
“He told me he was sorry. I was just so relieved because I was so upset that I had just met this amazing person and now he could be gone,” she said, adding that Montgomery tried to tell her he would understand if she wanted to stop dating him. A few weeks after Montgomery underwent bypass surgery, the two shared their first real kiss — again on the beach, but minus the heart attack.
“My heart has been healed inside and out,” said Montgomery. “I feel very blessed.”
Watch Baker’s video of Traynor performing CPR on Montgomery below.
Read the full story at The Daily Mail.