PINEVILLE, N.C. — What was supposed to be a fun pickup game of hockey quickly turned serious when one player went down.
"The outcome is just simply miraculous and I'm truly blessed to be here right now," Jib Street told TODAY.
The 54-year-old was playing hockey with friends at Pineville Ice House last month when suddenly everything went black. Street said he felt lightheaded and collapsed on the ice.
He went into sudden cardiac arrest.
"My heart had stopped pumping, I wasn't breathing and my organs were shutting down," Street said. "I was simply dead."
Street's teammates rushed over to help and called 911. Little did anyone know that the man who'd save Street's life was on the other team.
Craig Bryant is an emergency room doctor. Once Street collapsed, he sprang into action and gave Street CPR. With no oxygen getting to Street's brain, Bryant knew every second would count to avoid irreversible damage.
Fortunately, the rink had an AED, an automated external defibrillator. For five minutes Bryant tried to jump start Street's heart before he came to.
"I think the first thing he said to me was, 'did I fall asleep?' He thought maybe he took a little nap out there on the ice," Bryant said.
Street spent six days in the hospital and now has a pacemaker. To pay his new hero, Street gave Bryant his most prized possession: an autographed jersey from Wayne Gretzky.
Now, two strangers are the closest of friends because a fun game quickly turned into life or death.
"He's my guardian angel," Street said. "I'm blessed to be here."