Minneapolis TSA officers save man’s life after ‘widow-maker’ heart attack

Tuesday, August 27, 2019
TSA Officers Brittany Sutton and Eric Jones with Greg Eubanks

TSA Officers Brittany Sutton and Eric Jones were working at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport security checkpoint when they heard cries for help. Following the sounds, they discovered a man collapsed face-down in front of a restaurant behind the checkpoint and immediately rushed to his side.

Leveraging their first responder training, both officers quickly assessed the situation. The passenger was unresponsive and, in the time it took to call 911, had stopped breathing. Jones began chest compressions while Sutton moved quickly to get the automated external defibrillator. Airport police and the fire department soon arrived and continued chest compressions until paramedics made it to the scene.

After the passenger was taken away in an ambulance, the officers weren’t sure if they would ever know whether or not he survived. However, they didn’t have to wait long to find out. The man’s daughter obtained the officers’ names from the police report and reached out to Sutton on Facebook. As it turned out, she was eager to meet the individuals responsible for saving her father’s life.

Elizabeth Eubanks informed the officers that her father, Greg Eubanks, had suffered a type of heart attack known as a “widow-maker.” The chances of someone surviving such a massive heart attack are slim. The man’s family was told by the doctor at the hospital that he would not have survived had the officers not started life-saving measures as swiftly as they did. The Eubanks family invited both officers to the hospital to visit the man whose life they saved. By then, he had almost made a full recovery.

“The TSA Minnesota team couldn’t be more proud of Supervisory TSA Officer Brittany Sutton and Lead TSA Officer Eric Jones for their quick action to help save the life of a passenger traveling through Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Both officers had previous first responder training and were instrumental during this critical medical incident, where every second counts,” said TSA Federal Security Director Cliff Van Leuven. “We are all glad Mr. Eubanks is at home and doing well. He is forever part of our TSA Minnesota extended family.”