What to Know
- A neighbor's generosity -- an offer of a shared meal -- to an elderly couple down her NJ street saved the 82-year-old man's life
- He dropped the phone as she was asking him about pulled pork; she sent her husband over and he started CPR until EMTs arrived
- It took 20 minutes to get Carl Schwab's pulse back but they did it; after weeks of treatment and rehab, he reunited with his rescuers
Hi Carl, want some pulled pork?
It was a simple question from one good neighbor to another, but it turned out to be the difference between life and death for an 82-year-old New Jersey man.
Brick resident Roberta Cartwright gave her neighbors, Carl Schwab and his wife Susan, a call around dinnertime Jan. 2 to see if they wanted some of the pulled pork she had just made. She was in the middle of the question when she heard Carl Schwab suddenly drop the phone, authorities say.
Moments later, she heard Susan Schwab scream for help over the still-open phone line. Cartwright called to her husband, who jumped in his car and drove to the Schwab home at the end of the street. Meanwhile, Susan Schwab called 911.
Cartwright's husband, Peter, found Carl Schwab unconscious, slumped in a chair, when he got there; he wasn't breathing and had no pulse, officials say. Peter Cartwright pulled Carl Schwab out of the chair, put him on the floor and began CPR.
The initial first responder arrived at the Schwab home within 4 minutes of being dispatched, authorities say. A slew of other EMTs and emergency personnel followed shortly thereafter. It took 20 minutes, but they got a pulse -- and managed to get Carl Schwab stable enough to be transported to a hospital.
Carl Schwab spent the next month in treatment; he got a pacemaker implant and did rehab for weeks. By the middle of February, he was back home. And on March 15, he, his wife, the Cartwrights and the first responders who helped save his life reunited for an incredible moment of thanks.
"These guys are amazing, and I want to thank them all for saving my husband’s life," Susan Schwab said. "You all are wonderful, and my neighbors are wonderful."