Local first responders are receiving recognition after saving a young man’s life – when time was not on their side.
“No more goodbyes.”
It’s a phrase a young couple had been dreaming of finally saying.
Matthew Little came to Northwest Arkansas from California in July to marry Sarah Armas of Pea Ridge after meeting online.
Just two days after the move, his heart gave out while washing his car…
“I came to the last hut right here to wash my Fordrunner and I personallu don’t remember anything,” Little said.
Little was born with a heart murmur.
But this attack was different.
The young man collapsed and was un-responsive.
“That’s a person with no pulse and no breathing,” Chief Deputy of the Pea Ridge Police Department Jack Wassman said.
A nearby woman called 9-1-1.
The problem – the Pea Ridge Fire Department’s ambulance was on a call in Missouri.
“Five of the men arrived by their personal vehicle,” Wassman said. “We are a volunteer department.”
The next few minutes were critical.
“Our guys did CPR for 17 minutes before we could get our secondary ambulance there to keep him alive,” Wasman said.
Little was in a coma for the next 10 days.
His fiance waiting- wondering if he would ever wake up.
“I thought I was going to lose him forever,” Sarah Armas said.
After months in the hospital, Little’s eyes opened and Armas was standing right by his side.
Two months later, the seven Pea Ridge firefighters at the scene were honored at Tuesday night’s city council meeting– the life-saving award, presented to them by a very grateful guest.
Little is expected to make a full recovery – owing his life to the men who acted on their training.
He now lives with a pacemaker – but says he doesn’t need any help when it comes to the love he has for his fiance.
“I still plan on finishing washing my car,” Little said. “I’m going to bring it right back here.”