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First responders' timely response gave a local man another chance at life

"Just happy to be in the land of the living."
Dale Wilbourn
Posted at 5:10 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 18:29:15-04

MILWAUKEE — Time is of the essence when it comes to life or death situations, and fortunately for Dale Wilbourn, first responders' timely response gave him another chance at life.

A simple hug and a thank you is something he doesn't take for granted anymore.

"I'm glad I'm here to even witness this," he said.

May 9, Wilbourn showed up to work at The MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary, much like every other day.

Everything was fine until he collapsed from what doctors say was a heart attack.

"I had a widow-maker heart attack," he said. "The average person doesn't live from that."

The brave men and women of the Milwaukee Fire Department quickly reacted and performed CPR until he was stable.

The last time he saw these first responders' together was when they were trying to save his life.

"Your timing was impeccable as you guys were a block away, Dale stopped breathing," said Carol Starr, Wilbourn's co-worker.

Monday afternoon, Wilbourn and his co-workers at the sanctuary recognized the heroes who gave him another chance at life.

"I give all the glory to them guys that helped me out," Wilbourn smiled.

One firefighter said the final result was the best thing he could ask for: seeing Wilbourn smiling and in way better condition.

With a stent in place, Wilbourn is back to doing what he loves with his loved ones, including his granddaughter Deaira Ester.

Ester said her grandpa played a huge role in her life and she is looking forward to making more memories with him for years to come.

Wilbourn smiled from ear to ear the entire day and said he is just happy to be in the land of the living.

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