Lifesaving encounter leaves two men bonded forever: 'It's because of him I'm here today'

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - One minute he was enjoying some food at a local restaurant. The next he was fighting for his life.

One man says he's alive today because of the actions of a Wichita man. 

Two guys, hanging out enjoying burgers and drinks and a nice afternoon, you'd think they've been friends for some time. 

If not for Brent Tiede, he and Sam Merriman may not be friends at all. 

"I remember you one time at the hospital. I don't remember who you were," recalled Sam Merriman. "That day I could not tell you what happened that day or two days after that."

Just two weeks ago, both men were at a restaurant enjoying a buffet when suddenly things took a turn for the worst.

"Everything happened kind of fast," said Brent Tiede. 

Tiede says he went from enjoying dessert to saving a life.  

 "He did not respond so I just checked for pulse and he did not have a pulse and was not breathing," recalled Tiede. 

Merriman went into cardiac arrest. Tiede - who has training in CPR - jumped into action, right there on the restaurant floor. 

"My main concern was getting blood circulated into his brain so he did not die right there," said Tiede. "EMS had been notified and it was a long time it seemed like."

Sam is alive and well right now. He and Tiede came together Thursday afternoon and Merriman says it's a blessing. 

"A doctor explained to me that I would not be here, matter of fact, after he brought me back they had to bring me back three more times in the ambulance ride," said Merriman. 

Merriman, a hard-nosed guy, is moved just by seeing the man who saved his life. 

"Every time I see Brent I want to cry," said Merriman. 

And Tiede feels the same way.

"Afterwards I kind of had a little bit of a breakdown," said Tiede. 

And it's a breakdown worth having, because now, they are bonded forever. 

"In today's society people don't stop to help others, and this man was here to help me," said Merriman. "And it's because of him I'm here today."

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