Alert Assistant DA Saves Stranger

Prosecutor performs CPR on man who collapsed in courthouse parking lot

By Omar Villafranca
|  Thursday, Jul 1, 2010  |  Updated 11:30 PM CDT
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Heart Attack Victim to Stranger: Thank You

AP

A Texas man beat the odds and survived a sudden heart attack at the Dallas County Courthouse thanks to an assistant district attorney who knew CPR.

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Heart Attack Victim to Stranger: Thank You

A passing prosecutor helped save the life of a man who collapsed at the Dallas County Courthouse.
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A Texas man beat the odds and survived a sudden heart attack at the Dallas County Courthouse thanks to an assistant district attorney who knew CPR.

"I would have died for sure," Rusty Malone said. "(It) just happened to be a lucky speeding ticket."

Malone and his wife drove in from Savoy to pay the fine for a ticket he got in Dallas a year ago. While walking in the parking lot, his heart stopped.

"I don't remember anything," Malone said.

But Jeff Matovich remembers it all.

Matovich, an assistant district attorney in Dallas County, works in the organized crime division. He has seen some odd things in the courthouse parking lot, but nothing like what he saw while walking into work June 22.

"He's laying out on the concrete, on his back with his arms flat out on both sides," Matovich said. "And she's right up there next to his head, saying his name over and over again, saying, 'Don't die. Please don't die.'"

"I learned CPR when I was in the Boy Scouts a long time ago," he said. "And I studied again in college and got certified, but I hadn't had to use it in eight years."

Matovich said he started doing chest compressions. He remembers hearing an ad from the American Heart Association on the radio mentioning a "hands-only" CPR.

"The importance of the compressions is so much greater than the need to breathe in that they recommend just focus on the compressions (and) ignore breathing in," Matovich said.

Paramedics quickly arrived and took Malone to the hospital. After a quadruple bypass surgery, Malone is feeling better.

He said he's like to meet Matovich.

"I'd like to really thank him for saving my life," he said.

"'I'm just happy it turned out the way it has, at least so far," Matovich said. "And I really hope he makes a full recovery."


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