ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Since AT&T stadium opened, when Jeff Kempf went to a Cowboys game, he always parked in Lot 10.
From there he could get onto N. Collins St., and then I-30, before everyone else did.
After the last home game on Sunday, December 9, his strategy to beat the traffic, put him in a position that also saved his life.
Kempf remembers the Amari Cooper catch that helped beat the Eagles in overtime. He remembers hurrying out of the stadium, to head home.
“And then I remember telling the girls to c’mon lets go,” Kempf’s voice trailed off, as he thought about what was almost the last thing he ever got to remember.
“After we’d been talking normally, when I turned he was like…,” Vicki Kempf, Jeff’s wife made a gasping noise to illustrate her husband’s sudden change.
“I knew it was a heart attack or stroke,” she said. “I just didn’t know which.”
Vicki and a friend were in the car with him when it happened. Stopped at a light, they jumped out, screaming for help.
Sergeant Vanessa Harrison, heard the call go out on her radio. She said she waited a couple minutes, thinking someone was taking care of it, but then the call went out again.
“I’ve administered CPR several times in my career,” she said. “I don’t recall any of them surviving.”
She and another officer pulled Kempf out of his car, and right there in the street started chest compressions. She said Kempf flatlined, twice, but she felt a connection, that told her to keep going.
Tuesday she was there as he left Texas Health Heart and Vascular hospital to finally head home.
The family said Harrison wasn’t a hero, she was their angel.
“I believe that me being there to try and help that guy, was something that I needed to do and I answered the call to do that.”