Earlier this week on Tuesday, May 17th, I had the privilege to not only attend an awards ceremony for some very brave individuals that, in every literal sense of the term, saved my life, but was also fortunate enough to be able to thank them face-to-face.

Nate Wilde / Townsquare Media
Nate Wilde / Townsquare Media
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Grand Junction's Phoenix Awards For First Responders

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This year's Phoenix Awards Ceremony took place on Tuesday, May 17th at the Family Health West Hospital in Fruita, Colorado. The Phoenix Awards are given to first responders that, in an incredible act of bravery and strength, saved the life of another human being.

The Phoenix Award is named after the mythical phoenix, a bird that rose from the ashes, symbolizing a life being lost, then saved, which is exactly what happened to me last year.

Why I Was at Grand Junction's Phoenix Awards

You may or may not know this about me, but I had a serious health scare back in October of 2021. To make a long story short, my fiance Heather and I were sitting in bed when I suddenly experienced a seizure, followed by cardiac arrest. Heather proceeded to call 911 and, without even being prompted, began to perform CPR on my stiff, lifeless body. Luckily, Heather had previously been trained in administering CPR so she knew what to do. In fact, she has told me that she realized she was doing it right when she began hearing and feeling my ribs break, which I am eternally grateful for.

The woman on the other line talked my desperate fiance through her CPR compressions until the EMTs showed up, which luckily wasn't after very long.

At this point, I was taken into an ambulance where EMTs zapped me with the paddles until a faint heartbeat came back and I was taken to the hospital where I stayed for roughly a month to heal.

An Opportunity to Thank My Saviors

In an unexpected turn of events, Heather and I became friends with the woman on the other line talking her through the CPR compressions that gave oxygen to my brain when my heart wouldn't who told us about the Phoenix Award she was receiving for the incident and the two of us, along with my mom who also stayed with me during my hospital stay, were excited to attend.

I was beyond grateful to thank my new friend and dispatcher who helped save my life, as well as the other two first responders that got my heart beating again in the ambulance, and I feel like the feeling was mutual for them as well.

Here's a shot of Heather and I addressing the crowd and my emotions getting the best of me:

Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
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Here's the host of the ceremony addressing the crowd and sharing our story:

Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
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Here I am retelling my story and thanking the first responders responsible for saving my life:

Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
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Here I am introducing the crowd to my fiance Heather:

Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
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Here's a shot of Heather telling our story:

Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
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Here I am getting ready to pass the microphone to Heather:

Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
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Here's a shot of the three first responders that received the award for saving my life back in October:

Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
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The woman on the left is Jessi, the dispatcher that talked Heather through CPR compressions that helped save my life:

Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
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Here's a shot of the audience giving a round of applause for the first responders receiving the award for saving my life:

Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
Becky Kenlon / Townsquare Media
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I'd like to close by not only thanking the first responders once again for not only everything they did to save my life, but for all of the great work they do every day, as well as Heather and my mom, and everyone else involved in giving me a second chance at life.

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