'Something just clicked': 2 credited with saving man's life after cardiac arrest at rec center

John Gault and Todd Siau were honored during a CPR training event.

ByMaher Kawash WLS logo
Monday, January 30, 2023
'Something just clicked': 2 credited with saving man's life after cardiac arrest at rec center
Local heroes were honored for saving a man's life after he suffered cardiac arrest during a paddle ball game at a Deerfield rec center.

DEERFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- A couple of local heroes were honored in Deerfield on Sunday for saving a man's life.

It was back in October when Steve Farber was playing paddle ball at a rec center when suddenly he collapsed on the court, suffering cardiac arrest.

"It's unbelievable to me that I'm not damaged, and it's just because people chose to act," Farber said.

His opponent, John Gault, and another man, Todd Siau, in the facility both immediately jumped into action with CPR and calling an ambulance.

"As soon as he went down, I knew that something was seriously wrong, and ran across the court yelled to call 911," Gault said.

SEE ALSO | 15-year-old boy performs life-saving CPR on mom after sudden cardiac arrest

Farber was out of the hospital in just four days, thanks to the efforts of Gault and Siau.

"I was confident that I could, you know, there was a lot of a lot of chaos going on, and something just clicked," Siau said.

The three of them sat side by side on Sunday as the two heroes were given awards during a CPR training event at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School.

It's a moment that was never guaranteed just months ago.

"It was quite emotional, you know? I mean, my biggest thing is, I'm just glad Steve is doing great, and that he came through this," Gault said.

Dozens of people showed up to the training event Sunday with hopes of having a similar impact by learning the life-saving measure.

"It's really empowering, you know? One-hundred people signed up today to learn how to save a life," said Elan Lerner, a student CPR volunteer.

NorthShore hospital says just 10% of cardiac arrest victims survive when the incident happens outside of a hospital.

Farber said he was in the right place at the right time, and the impact of that goes far beyond his own life.

"Obviously, they saved my life, but it saved my whole family, parents who are alive, all my students, everybody didn't have to experience a tragedy," Farber said.