Spanish Fork man has emotional reunion with first responders who saved his life

Mar 4, 2022, 6:28 AM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:45 pm

SPANISH FORK, Utah — A man is publicly thanking those who saved his life after he collapsed inside his own home and nearly died.

“There was no life in me, no blood flowing, no breathing,” Clint Smith told KSL TV.

Smith barely recalls what happened on Dec. 21, other than he started the day running errands.

What happened at the house was a blur, but it remains extremely vivid to Smith’s wife, Sena.

“He was kind of dawdling around and I told (my granddaughter) to go tickle ‘papa’ and so she went around and then she came back and I’m like, ‘did you get to tickle him?’” Sena Smith recalled. “So I went over and I found him and he was down and he was purple and I told her to go and get her daddy.’”

Their son, Smith said, was downstairs and immediately scrambled to the refrigerator, where his dad was unconscious on the floor.

“(He) tried to get him to come to and he finally with all of his strength rolled him over and started the CPR and I was on the phone with 911,” Sena Smith said.

At that point — well before the ambulance arrived — a knock came at the front door.

“(He) said, ‘I know CPR and I got the alert’ and I’m like, ‘Yes, go that way,’” Smith said.

The man, an off-duty EMT with the Spanish Fork ambulance service who lived nearby and had received a notice on his phone, rushed over to the Smith home and immediately began taking over CPR efforts.

“I was not expecting someone so fast and being so willing to help a stranger just come up to a strange house and make himself available to us,” Smith said. “I thought, ‘angel,’ right off the bat.”

The compressions went on for about 14 minutes, according to the family, and were soon joined by first-responders.

“The things were running through my mind like, ‘What do I do? What will I do now if he’s gone?” Smith said. “We know every minute matters when someone is not breathing.”

According to officials, medics and police additionally shocked Clint Smith multiple times to bring back a pulse.

Smith was transported to Mountain View Hospital ER, where Dr. Mark Bair sedated and intubated him and placed him on a ventilator.

Once in the ICU, officials said Smith once again went into a fatal arrhythmia and a medical team brought him back again.

As his condition improved, Smith was transferred to Timpanogos Regional Hospital, where doctors discovered the condition affecting him and placed an internal defibrillator in his chest.

“They said I had ventricular defibrillation,” Smith said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. “You die within minutes if somebody doesn’t find you.”

Sena Smith said her husband had not had the opportunity to meet those who saved him and to thank them for what they did until Tuesday evening when the Smiths showed up to a meeting of the Spanish Fork City Council where the first-responders were being recognized.

A hospital representative referred to Clint Smith as their “Christmas miracle,” and Smith grew emotional when it became his turn to speak at the podium.

“The first guy we called an ‘angel’ — no idea who he was, he just comes walking up from the north on the sidewalk, knocked on the door and my wife didn’t even know who he was, just let him in and (he) took over for my son,” Smith said. “Very thankful for him getting the process started.”

Smith said there was “a lot of ugly in the world today” and it was nice to see people like the off-duty emergency crew member, identified in the meeting as Taylor Banks, go out of their way to help others.

“Taylor didn’t have to come up the street — he could have ignored that call,” Smith said. “The EMS crew responded in such a timely manner.”

He said for the ambulance to get from his home to Mountain View Hospital in Payson in seven minutes was “pretty amazing.”

“I’m grateful to the EMS and the police officers, to the doctors and to my family for giving me a second chance at life,” Smith said with tears streaming from his eyes as he addressed those at the council meeting.

Along with Bair and Banks, those recognized before the council included EMTs Bryant Wood, Spencer Byrne, Spencer Bradford, Kristopher Gruber, Kristina Reid, Ryan Baum and Josie Nielson as well as officers Bryan DeWitt, Owen Leifson, David Bowen, and Dallas Smith.

Sena Smith said what happened that December day was some combination of “lucky, blessed, miraculous, angels — all of it.”

“I’m very grateful for everyone’s efforts,” Clint Smith said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Housing construction....
Ladd Egan

Unaffordable Utah: Mortgage rates climb again as buyers look for price reductions

Utah's housing market is whiplashing as last year's buying frenzy seems to have slowed down to signs of a recession.
1 day ago
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: How cybercriminals use social engineering to get us to hand over our sensitive info

You can have the strongest, most secure password in the history of cybersecurity, but the bad guys know there is one weakness they can use to hack into your system - you!
1 day ago
The ground breaking of the High Valley Transit offices....
Carter Williams, KSL.com and Jed Boal, KSL TV

Utah’s newest transit system breaks ground on $26M new home

High Valley Transit broke ground on a new 61,277-square-foot facility that will house the transit organization's administrative and operations offices.
1 day ago
The new Draper playground....
Shara Park

1.6 million-dollar Draper ‘all-abilities playground,’ damaged before opening

The new 'all-abilities playground' in Draper is delayed again because of some impatient visitors
1 day ago
A new U of U hopes to expand it's diversity....
Erin Cox

New Latina dean hopes to help the University of Utah in efforts to become Hispanic serving institution

One of Utah’s largest universities has plans to become a Hispanic Serving Institution, the first of its kind here in Utah.
1 day ago
The stranger holding a handgun in the driveway....
Shelby Lofton

‘He seemed prepared for battle:’ Neighbors terrified after encounter with armed stranger

Federal Heights residents are shaken up after a suspicious encounter with a stranger Friday afternoon.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Spanish Fork man has emotional reunion with first responders who saved his life