Off-duty HFD inspector comes to collapsed neighbor's rescue

Friday, November 1, 2019
Fire inspector comes to collapsed neighbor's rescue
"God put the right person in the right place at the right time": There's no days off of life-saving for this HFD paramedic.

LA PORTE, Texas (KTRK) -- It started as a typical Sunday morning jog for Ted Webster, but it ended in anything but typical.

"I remember seeing Dean wave, so, I lifted my hand to wave and started feeling lightheaded, and that's the last thing I remember," said Webster, who collapsed outside his La Porte home.

"I actually came to hearing Dean say, 'Ted, are you with us? are you with us?" Webster recalled.

Dean Zalesnik is Webster's neighbor. He and Ted's wife, Kathy, were across the street when they watched him fall.

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"I thought he was kidding, and I looked at Kathy and I said, 'Is he kidding? Is he joking?' And, no, I heard her voice. We both ran across the street," said Zalesnik.

Zalesnik, who was a paramedic with the Houston Fire Department for nearly 20 years, couldn't find a pulse and started performing CPR on his lifeless neighbor. Webster's wife called 911. It was minutes later when Ted finally woke up.

"It was like a miracle. I saw Ted take a deep breath and immediately I went for his pulse, and I felt it. And he opened his eyes pretty quickly after that," said Zalesnik.

"I remember feeling rather surreal when I heard Dean saying he couldn't find a pulse, and I had been effectively dead for a minute or two. It's a pretty scary thought," Webster added.

Webster had a heart attack.

"I had been living a pretty healthy lifestyle and thought everything was OK," he said.

He was taken to the hospital and is recovering after having quadruple bypass surgery. Webster knows, if he was alone outside, his story would be different.

"It's real amazing to me that God put the right person in the right place at the right time," Webster said.

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