by Janae Fear, staff writer

THE CANTU FAMILY presented Owosso Fire and Police personnel with handmade chairs as a thank you for saving Joe’s life on April 29, 2015. Cantu made two chairs for the station house and one chair for Officer Andrew Reed, who was the first to arrive on the scene. Officer Reed’s chair (inset) was inscribed with “Thank you – Joe, Rose, Steven Cantu 2016.” Those present for a photo include, from left, Lt. Stephen Chapko, Matthew Nowiski, Officer Andrew Reed, Rose Cantu, Steven Cantu, and Joe Cantu. (Independent Photos/Janae Fear)

Joe Cantu was nicknamed the “Miracle Man” by Sparrow Hospital staff after surviving a ‘heart attack’ while mowing his lawn on April 29, 2015 and another while hospitalized. His wife, Rose happened to be out talking with him when he suddenly stepped back and fell to the ground, gasping for breath. Rose immediately called 9-1-1 and the dispatcher talked her through starting CPR. Minutes later Officer Andrew Reed of the Owosso Police Department was the first to arrive on the scene. Cantu had no pulse and was not breathing

as Reed took over CPR for Rose who he said “was holding it together better than most.” Owosso fire department paramedics arrived shortly after Reed and were able to resuscitate with the help of a defibrillator.

Cantu was transported to Memorial Healthcare where he was stabilized before being transferred by ambulance to Sparrow Hospital. He spent the next five days intubated after being diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia or V-tach, which is a type of heart rhythm disorder. Cantu had an internal defibrillator implanted and now, just over a year later, is back to enjoying his retirement although he still does not have the full use of his left arm and he is much more cautious in general. “I told him I wasn’t done with him yet and that he still has a son to raise (referring to their 20-year old son Steven). Everything happened just exactly right to allow him to survive – if I hadn’t of been talking to him when he fell down, or Officer Reed hadn’t gotten here as quickly – Joe might not be here,” said Rose. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have my husband.”

Paramedics credit the early initial CPR for saving him. Both Joe and Rose were very emotional as they shared their story with Joe saying, “I have always thought very highly of EMS, fire department and police personnel. I am very grateful and thankful for their service. People take them for granted and I wouldn’t be here without them. I wanted to show my appreciation so I decided to build these chairs for them.” Joe, a woodworker hobbyist, designed and built two chairs to remain at the department and made a special chair for Officer Reed with the words “Thank you – Joe, Rose, Steven Cantu 2016,” inscribed on the underside of the chair.

“Miracle Man” Thanks Life Savers was last modified: May 25th, 2016 by Karen Elford