What many people call “coincidence” is often God at work, orchestrating events so that lives can be saved and changed for the better. This was clearly the case when Max Montgomery met up with Dr. Andi Traynor and invited her out on a date without knowing that he would, on their first encounter, collapse with a near-fatal heart attack.
Mr. Montgomery is an active 56-year-old man. He is in great shape, enjoys paddle surfing and even ran more than ten miles the night before his date with Dr. Traynor. The only indication that he could face serious health problems was the fact that his family had a history of heart disease.
However, debilitating health problems were clearly not on his mind when he invited Dr. Traynor to the beach to paddle surf with him. She graciously accepted and the two of them hit it off, enjoying each other’s company.
But as they walked back from the ocean, Max Montgomery collapsed and quickly fell unconscious suffering a serious heart attack. Dr. Andi Traynor ran over to him and, to her surprise, discovered that he had no pulse. That is when she sprang into action.
As an obstetrical anesthesiologist at Stanford University, she knew exactly what to do. She gave him mouth to mouth resuscitation and CPR until paramedics arrived to provide further aid.
Mr. Montgomery’s ordeal didn’t end at the beach. It took paramedics more than 15 minutes to get his heart beating again. A day after arriving in the hospital, he was diagnosed with a blocked artery and underwent bypass surgery.
The medical emergency left Dr. Traynor shocked. While she later noted that she is accustomed to dealing with life-threatening conditions on a regular basis, she felt distraught because she had just met someone who she believed was amazing and he was nearly gone before they could get to know each other.
Mr. Montgomery, on the other hand, felt thoroughly embarrassed when he came to and realized what had just happened. Just a day after being admitted to the hospital, he called Dr. Traynor to apologize. The call touched her deeply, as did his obvious care and concern for his family members and friends.
When Dr. Traynor visited Mr. Montgomery later on, he told her that he would totally understand if she wanted to run for the hills because, after all, who would want to date someone who just had a heart attack on their first date?
Dr. Traynor, however, made it clear to her boyfriend that she had no intention of going anywhere. Several weeks later, as they sat and talked together at the beach, they shared their second kiss, one that Max Montgomery has described as being better than the first because this time he was conscious and so able to remember it.
However, the story doesn’t end there. Mr. Montgomery and Dr. Traynor continue to see each other and their relationship remains strong in spite of (or perhaps because of) Mr. Montgomery’s near-death experience.
What is more, the two of them have formed a non-profit organization called Paddle4Good that raises awareness of the importance of learning CPR as even knowing the basic techniques can save a life. They are able to not only share the story of their incredible first date but even show a video of what happened thanks to the fact that videographer Alexander Baker was recording scenery on the beach and just happened to catch the dramatic rescue on camera.
It is truly amazing when one stops to consider just how many circumstances had to be “just right” for Max Montgomery to survive his incredible ordeal. Mr. Montgomery and Dr. Traynor had actually known each other for some time; even so, Mr. Montgomery had just worked up the courage to tell Dr. Traynor a couple of days before their first date that he had a crush on her.
The fact that the two of them decided to have a date right when they did was also providential; otherwise, Mr. Montgomery might have been home alone when the heart attack occurred.
Mr. Baker’s decision to film beach scenery right where the heart attack occurred has made it possible for the story to gain widespread publicity and hopefully encourage others to learn how to save lives even if they are not full-fledged medical professionals.
All in all, it is clear that God’s hand was at work to bring about good in the lives of not only Mr. Montgomery and Dr. Traynor but also the many individuals who they are working with through their non-profit organization.
Watch the footage of the incident below.