Stillman Valley woman assists first responders in saving husband’s life


A local man collapses in his bedroom during a heart attack, with paramedics still minutes away, his wife begins life-saving measures. Stillman Fire officials say she did everything right, adding the reason he’s alive today is thanks to her help.

“Without [Stillman Fire] and [my wife], I probably wouldn’t be here,” said William Bowen.

William Bowen is grateful to be alive after suddenly going into cardiac arrest. Early Friday morning, the Stillman Valley man was saved by local first responders and his wife Dani. She says he was struggling to breathe when he passed out.

“I was able to pull him out from under the bed with the help of my daughters, who are 14 and 11,” said Dani Bowen. “I was able to roll him over and begin CPR.”

Dani has been a cardiac nurse for over a decade and is all too familiar with performing emergency procedures.

“Never in a million years thought I would have to do it on my husband,” said Dani Bowen. “But, I’m very, very thankful that I had that knowledge to be able to get that started for him.”

“I never thought she would have to do that for me,” said William Bowen. “I never thought I’d put her through that. But thank God she knew what she knows and was able.”

Stillman Fire Deputy Chief Cory Tveit, Lieutenant Cody Blankenship and Damien Vant were the first to arrive. The crew continued CPR and began Advanced Life Support medical procedures. To Dani, the men are her guardian angels.

“Without their help, my husband wouldn’t be here today,” said Dani Bowen. “They were so fast in responding.”

Stillman Fire Protection District Chief Chad Hoefle says first responders many times rely on bystander help in emergency situations.

“In this situation, thankfully the patient’s wife was trained in CPR and was able to start emergency care prior to our arrival,” said Hoefle. “I attribute that to him being here today.”

Hoefle says he can’t stress enough the value of learning CPR, adding taking the time could mean saving someone’s life.

“Whether you’re somebody that’s an onlooker that’s helping, guide somebody else through the steps of CPR,” said Hoefle. “Whether you’re doing it to a friend or family, early recognition and learning CPR is of the outmost importance.”

Dani Bowen is just grateful everything worked out the way it did. Now, her family can continue to share and celebrate milestones.

“I feel extremely blessed, extremely blessed. He opened his eyes, squeezed my hand and we had him extubated on our 12th anniversary.”

William Bowen says he’s signing up for CPR classes as soon as he fully recovers, adding he’s also quit smoking in the aftermath of the incident.

Stillman Fire offers American Heart Association CPR and First aid classes, click here for more information.

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