Norm Healey says he would love to know the name of the man who recently helped save his life at National Airport.
Healey, 65, area manager in St. Petersburg, Fla., for a laboratory products sales firm, was calling his wife from a pay phone near Eastern Airlines Gate 22 at the airport Jan. 15 when he collapsed in the middle of a sentence.
Martha Healey, 61, his wife, recalls hearing the receiver banging against the wall, then a stranger saying, "My God, a man is slumped over next to me."
A second later, the stranger was on the phone with Mrs. Healey, who instructed him to look for a nitroglycerin tablet, medicine Healey has carried since he suffered a heart attack 22 years ago, in her husband's right pants pocket.
The person Healey calls "The Stranger" and his wife calls "Divine Providence" then stayed on the phone with Martha Healey while FAA paramedics worked to revive her husband.
Yesterday, Mrs. Healey, visiting her husband at the National Hospital for Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation in Arlington, said that the man on the phone was "very calm and cool, like he did this every day." And talking to him helped her stay calm, too, she said.
"It was a sustaining thing. I felt like I was right there with him. I wasn't frightened. I really wasn't. A calm came over me," she said.
Norm Healey, dressed in a navy bathrobe at the hospital, doesn't remember much of the incident.
"I was standing there talking to her . . . and I can't say any more because I don't remember any more; in the meantime, my heart had stopped," he said.
A Florida couple had rushed forward to help Healey, an Eastern Airlines spokesman said yesterday.
Sharon and Ron James, whose jobs with the Florida Power and Light Co. require them to know cardiopulmonary resuscitation, had already begun to loosen Healey's tie and clothing so that they could administer CPR, Sharon James, 38, said in a telephone interview yesterday.
Paramedics who worked on Healey said his heart didn't actually stop, but was fibrillating -- shaking very rapidly without pumping any blood. Charles Burroughs, an FAA paramedic, recalled yesterday that he gave Healey a mild electric shock to jolt his heart back to a more normal rhythm while his partner administered CPR.
"A few minutes later Healey started blinking his eyes. I said, 'Can you hear me?' And he nodded. It was just one of those calls where everything fell into place," Burroughs said.
The Healeys were full of praise for the paramedics, the Jameses and the Good Samaritan who picked up the dangling phone. "It is just . . . like it had been planned. Like somebody had written the scenario," Martha Healey said.
"I would give anything to know who he was," she said. "I hope somebody does something nice for him sometime."