Todd and Donna Rowan were at their condo in Virginia Beach and went for a walk. As they walked barefoot on the beach, Todd suddenly collapsed face-first into the sand. Donna noticed he immediately started turning blue, so she screamed for help.
Tyler Volpe was in the water surfing that morning and heard Donna’s cries for help and “came flying out of the water.” Tyler, a physician assistant with First Colonial Urgent Care, immediately started performing CPR on Todd. Just then, Paul Roy, a healthcare worker at a local hospital who had also been surfing that morning, jumped in to help Tyler. The two surfers worked together to resuscitate Todd until paramedics arrived and took over. Other surfers used their boards to build a wall around Todd to stop the rising tide from reaching him.
Using a defibrillator, paramedics were able to get Todd’s heart going again and he was transported to a nearby hospital where doctors performed a quadruple bypass. Of course, it’s a long road to fully recover for Todd, but Donna says they are lucky that his heart attack happened when it did. “It could have happened in a million other places where he could not have had immediate medical help,” she says. A few days after the incident, she met up with Tyler and Paul to thank them. She gave them big hugs and told them how lucky she felt that they were there that day, saying, “We know that God put you there on the beach with us that day. It could have had a really different ending.”