Mouzon Siddiqi collapsed of a heart attack a few weeks ago. Dr. Brian Rothman saved her life.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
It's the incredible story of being in the right place at the right time.
What should have been just another lunch date turned into a life or death situation for a Vanderbilt employee and a Vanderbilt doctor.
Mouzon Siddiqi has thought a lot about what she would say during Thursday's meeting.
"I feel like the luckiest person on Earth because if he hadn't been there and come right out, I don't think I would've made it," she told Nashville's News 2.
Siddiqi, who is the program coordinator for the graduate program in Economic Development at Vanderbilt, said nothing she has rehearsed in her own mind sounds quite right when addressing the person who saved your life.
For 530year0old Siddiqi, what happened on September 6 is still mostly a blur.
"I just had no recollection whatsoever," she said.
The story came to her after waking up in a hospital bed at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Siddiqi's colleague, who was with her that day, would remind her they were headed to meet an alumnus at the University Club on Vanderbilt's campus.
Before they could get into the restaurant, Siddiqi collapsed on the ground and her heart stopped.
Her frantic colleague ran inside to ask if there was anyone who could help.
That person would end up being Dr. Brian Rothman, an anesthesiologist at VUMC.
Dr. Rothman recalled, "I was sitting enjoying a cup of coffee at the University Club, talking to a friend of mine and we were nearing the end of the conversation and someone ran into the lunch room and said are either of you a physician? I said, ‘I am, what's going on?'"
Without thinking twice, Dr. Rothman said he ran outside.
"She really wasn't doing well," he recalled. "She had stopped breathing and at that point I said we need to roll her over and start chest compressions."
Dr. Rothman administered CPR until an ambulance arrived.
"I didn't even get her name, I didn't know," explained Dr. Rothman. "I just had to hope that she was okay and that I knew that I did and the people around her did everything we could to get her through it."
Siddiqi suffered a heart attack. Her doctors told her she was lucky to be alive and that if she had been anywhere else, without someone nearby to intervene, she likely would have died.
"If you hadn't been there, I'm not sure I'd be here," said Siddiqi as she hugged Dr. Rothman during their meeting Thursday.
Dr. Rothman said, "I just think I was in the right place at the right time."
Siddiqi said she's now feeling much better and ready to get back to work on Monday.
She had surgery and now has a pacemaker and a cardiac defibrillator implanted to maintain a regular heart rhythm and to administer an electric shock to the heart should the rhythm become abnormal again.