Retired nurse saves life of man having heart attack at Midtown bank; pair reunited

NEW YORK (WABC) -- They were two strangers on a busy Midtown street now forever connected by the gift of life.

"All of a sudden you turned grey and blue. I said I have to try. I wasn't sure I could do it," said Claire O'Neill, a retired nurse.

"You did," said William Taylor, the patient.

Last Thursday, Taylor was walking by a Citibank on 55th and 9th when he suddenly collapsed from a massive heart attack.

Bank workers quickly brought the unresponsive man inside and that's when an angel appeared.

69-year-old O'Neill is a retired obstetrics nurse. She was walking home when she saw the commotion and noticed the man was dying in front of her eyes. So she got on her knees and began chest compressions.

"I was afraid I broke your rib," O'Neill said.

"It's ok, it doesn't matter," Taylor said.

The two met for the second time Monday Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital where Taylor, who is now recuperating, got a chance to thank his guardian angel.

It was an emotional visit. Even Taylor's heart doctor could see both lives have been forever touched.

"Now life has different meaning for you and for him," said Dr. Eyal Herzog, the Director of the Cardiac Care Unit and Director of the echocardiography laboratories.
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.