DAVIDSON – The June 21 Herald Citizen included coverage of the Davidson Police Department’s recognition of citizens, including a Life Saving Award presented to Jonathan Bolenbaugh and Dr. Gretchen Platt-Koch for their actions in October 2017. Bolenbaugh was a passing cyclist who stopped to help a woman who had collapsed. He called his wife, Platt-Koch, who responded to the scene from their home nearby.
The woman helped was Davidson resident Jan Zamudio. She submitted the following letter to the Herald Citizen:
Thank you so much for your article about award winners in the June 21 issue.
I am so thrilled and proud Jonathan and Gretchen received this award. They helped save my life. My gratitude and my family’s gratitude could never be measured or verbalized appropriately. I would also like to mention that there were others that day, and the weeks and months after having sudden cardiac arrest, who saved me.
This town saved me. If I was anywhere else, in any other city, on any other street, the outcome would be different.
My family and I have lived in Davidson for five-and-a-half years, our children go to the local public schools, and my husband works for the largest company in town. I was 40 years old training for my 20th half-marathon with no heart history. In all aspects of the word, I lived a healthy lifestyle.
On Oct. 28, I had sudden cardiac arrest and was told later only four percent of people survive. Thankfully, God put all the right people in my path at the right time.
Many people stopped on Davidson Concord Road to help, call 911, start CPR, care for my kids and ride with my husband and the fire chief to the hospital. And the firefighters/EMTs who responded so quickly, even driving through the farmers market. These were both friends and strangers. I can't get over how many people in this community reacted and helped.
I was in a coma for three days and spent another two weeks in the hospital before coming home and receiving both speech and occupational rehab. I suffered an anoxic brain injury and had a defibrillator placed.
This town – people from the community and churches who provided us with food, blankets, visits and prayers – will never know their true impact on me; my friends at the YMCA, who welcomed my return and kept a close eye on me; friends with me on that day who, even though they have PTSD, will still exercise with me and act like true mother hens; teachers and staff at Davidson Elementary, who went above and beyond by helping my babies cope through it all; and to all the people I know helped but I can’t remember how or even recall their names.
I am more than blessed to know all these people and to live in Davidson.
Thank you is never enough, but I thank all the citizens like Jon and Gretchen who stood up for a stranger, a friend, a neighbor, a community. And I am so proud to call them my heroes.