Iowa man reunites with trooper who saved his life

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Iowa Man Reunites with Trooper Who Saved His Life

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) -- After Craig Vance had a heart attack while visiting the state Capitol three weeks ago, he hoped to meet the stranger who performed life-saving CPR.

KCCI arranged for Vance to meet with Iowa State Patrol Trooper Joe Long on Friday.

"This was just full of people, and when I was about here, I could see the blood from where he hit his head," said Long, who patrols the Capitol grounds daily. Long is a registered emergency medical technician.

He also served as a volunteer firefighter in Kelly.

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Man reunites with trooper who saved his life
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Iowa man reunites with trooper who saved his life
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Vance was waiting for a new photo ID at the Capitol when he suffered from a heart attack.

When Vance collapsed, Long knew he had to act fast.

"The longer you wait without CPR because CPR is pumping that oxygen to the brain and keeping that alive," Long said.

The two reunited at the state Capitol, with Vance expressing much gratitude.

"Thank you," Vance told Long. "My God, thank you so much. You saved my life, buddy."

The two met near the same location Vance suffered the heart attack.

"Somebody had told me that I stopped breathing. Is that true?" Vance said.

"Yeah, you had stopped. Your heart had stopped, too. You didn't have a pulse when I got to you," Long said.

Vance's artery was 90 percent blocked.

"I'm just very, very blessed," Vance said.

"I guess I was just in the right place at the right time," Long said.

A second person also came to Vance's aid.

Chris Bardin started CPR a few seconds before the trooper arrived.

Vance is recovering and said he looks forward to getting back to work soon.

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