They had only just spent a morning enjoying the waves together when he suddenly collapsed right in front of her on the beach. Fortunately, she knew just what to do to save his life.
Max Montgomery posted an advert to Facebook looking for people to train paddleboarding with him in preparation of a marathon event. That is how he and a woman he had had a crush on for some time, Andi Traynor, ended up on a California beach together.
Traynor thought it might be a fun activity, and the pair made a plan to get into the water on their boards together. All seemed to be perfectly fine. But as they decided to call time on the practice, things took a turn.
Montgomery started to feel severe pains in his chest. He wanted desperately to get to his car and get home, but the moment he put his board down on the sand, he collapsed.
Traynor followed him up onto the sand, and when she found him collapsed and without a pulse, she immediately panicked that he was dead.
Trained as a doctor, she moved quickly, starting CPR and chest compressions. For seven minutes she continued to administer the treatment as she waited for emergency services to arrive and take over for her.
When they finally arrived, they were able to load him into an ambulance and revive him with a defibrillator, nearly 20 minutes after he had first collapsed.
He was rushed to the hospital, where it was discovered he had suffered a massive heart attack, and had a number of blockages in his arteries.
The following day, he underwent bypass surgery, all the while concerned that the woman he had feelings for would run for the hills.
“It was surreal. I woke up in the ambulance and this guy leaning over me asked if I knew what had happened. I said ‘I think I’ve had a heart attack – how embarrassing.' I had finally told this woman I really liked that I had a crush on her and she had said it back. Who wants to date someone who just had a heart attack?”
Fortunately for him, Traynor was unperterbed by the heart attack, and admitted that she had been more terrified that she would lose him than anything else.
“I was so relieved. I had just met this amazing person and now he could be gone.”
Ten months later, Montgomery is healthy as a horse, and he and Traynor are still together.