MONTEREY, Calif. - Andi Traynor and Max Montgomery were on their first date at a Capitola beach, 11 months ago.
Montgomery said the connection he felt with Traynor was instant. "I told this amazing woman that I had a mad crush on her," said Montgomery.
They went stand-up paddle surfing during their first date. It wasn't long until Montgomery starting feeling a pain in his chest.
"Then I had a little voice in the back of my head say, 'hey, isn't that the sign of a heart attack?,' and I wasn't about to say 'hey, I'm having a heart attack on our first date.' Even though she does stop my heart," said Montgomery.
After paddling ashore, Montgomery collapsed on the sand. Traynor realized he didn't have a pulse and immediately started CPR. After signaling bystanders to call 911, she performed a technique called "rescue breathing." The pair referred to this moment as their "first kiss."
After spending 17 minutes without a pulse, Montgomery woke up in an ambulance. The paramedics told him that Traynor likely saved his life.
Now, 11 months later, the two are paying it forward, together. The two have paired with a program 'Help Heart CPR.' They travel along the Central Coast, teaching people how to perform CPR. Saturday, the pair held workshops at the 'Monterey Beach Sports Fest.' "Between five and ten minutes we can teach someone who's never had any exposure to CPR, how to do CPR. How to call 9-1-1. How to find an AED," said Montgomery.
Montgomery said he does this for many reasons, but his main hope is that someone will end up as lucky as he was.
"It was a blessing and a gift. I'm grateful for her. I'm so lucky to be around to pay it forward," said Montgomery.
For a schedule of hands-on CPR workshops visit www.paddle4good.org/help-a-heart-cpr.