Lincoln Davis doesn’t remember his first date with his wife or the day they brought home their rescue dog, Chicken Nuggets, and he has trouble piecing together moments of his life.
He also doesn’t recall anything from that day one year ago when he survived a life-threatening medical ordeal — except the pain.
Early April 20, 2018, the 38-year-old Ocoee resident went into cardiac arrest while drinking coffee on his porch, and doctors have said it’s a miracle he is alive.
Davis and his wife, Leyia, are grateful for all the people involved in saving his life, and they reached out to the Ocoee Fire/Rescue Department in hopes of recognizing the five crew members on Engine 26 and Rescue 26 who responded to the 911 call.
In a special ceremony held May 2 at Ocoee Fire Station 25, Fire Chief John Miller presented the Lifesaving Award to paramedic/Lt. Andrew Lindeman; firefighter/paramedics Peggy Robles, Matt Roy and Jordan Mieras; and firefighter/EMT Connor Heiskell.
The Lifesaving Award is given “for an act of prompt and alert live-saving efforts on or off duty that results in saving a life or bringing back life with a measurable outcome after hospitalization.” The recipients were given framed certificates and commendation bars for their uniforms.
GETTING ANOTHER CHANCE
One of Lincoln and Leyia Davis’ favorite songs is “Reckless Love,” in which Cory Asbury sings about Matthew 18: 12-14 — the parable of the lost sheep and the shepherd leaving the 99 to recover the missing one. Lincoln Davis had even sent his wife the song lyrics in his last text to her before experiencing cardiac arrest.
Leyia Davis was getting ready for work that day when she looked out and noticed her husband was in distress. She ran to him, at the same time hollering to her daughter, McKenzy Walker, to call for help.
Davis estimates she performed CPR on Lincoln for about 10 minutes while waiting for paramedics. She said their phones were not working so McKenzy ran out the door, looking for someone who could help. She saw a neighbor getting ready to take his children to school and called out for him to dial 911. His wife came outside and followed McKenzy home.
“Kathy (Lease) ended up being a medical assistant,” Leyia Davis said. “None of us had ever met her. They had moved in two weeks before. … She came up, and I was giving him CPR, and I was so tired. … This poor lady thinks she’s walking in to someone having a seizure, but it was a dead man getting CPR.”
Three weeks prior, paramedics received a call that Lincoln Davis was having a seizure. He was taken to the hospital, treated and sent home.
The family mistakenly thought the same thing was happening again.
The neighbor took over chest compressions while a 911 operator assured them an ambulance was en route. The same emergency crew responded this time, too.
Davis and Lease performed CPR for a total of 17 minutes, and paramedics continued it while putting him on advanced life support and rushing him to the hospital. His pulse still was erratic, Davis said officials told her.
She also was told that paramedics could have declared him dead but kept trying to bring him back.
“It was important for me to know who calls if he’s dead or not,” Leyia Davis said. “We found out that it was Jordan (Mieras). I said, ‘Why didn’t you call it?’ and he said, ‘We didn’t want to stop fighting.’”
The Davises are thankful for their decision.
Leyia Davis wants the community to understand the importance of learning CPR.
“People should get CPR trained, because if I hadn’t finished that CPR class, he’d be dead,” she said. “Without Kathy, I wouldn’t have kept going; it was exhausting.”
Lincoln Davis arrived at the hospital a very sick man, and he went into cardiac arrest at least seven more times in three days.
A year later, he still is feeling the effects. He has been slow to return to his career as a finish carpenter because he tires so easily and can’t keep up with the physical demands. He doesn’t know if he will ever be able to go back full-time. Friends have given him carpentry jobs so he can work at his own pace.
The Davises say they have been blessed with the support of their neighbors and friends, the Ocoee community and Glad Tidings Church. Lincoln Davis’ revival and recovery were very much “a God thing,” his wife said.
“We believe it was a God intervention, and you can talk to every single person and they will say that everything he went through — no one lives,” Leyia Davis said.
“He survived with minimal damage because all these wonderful people aligned by Jesus Christ who made a choice his life is worth it,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “Jesus will leave the 99 saved sheep to get the one lost every time. He is faithful.”