DETROIT -

A physician assistant at Detroit Medical Center’s Cardiovascular Institute, along with his wife, also a PA, helped save a life last Sunday after a man collapsed during a charity walk at Kensington Park.

The man, who is in his late 70s, had only minutes to live after suffering a cardiac arrest. Slobodan Djordjevic, his wife, Jamie, and about 13 of their family members were finishing up the walk nearby when they spotted the man looking ill.

Jamie Djordjevic got to him just as he collapsed into a tree and began CPR, immediately calling for her husband to help. The two had to perform “aggressive” CPR for about 20 minutes, until an ambulance came, the couple said. “It was very scary; the time was moving slowly, it felt like an eternity,” Slobodan Djordjevic said. “We had to do our best, because this was the only chance he had. The ambulance came and put the paddles on him and shocked him out of the lethal rhythm, and got a pulse.”

The man was taken to Providence Park, the closest hospital.

Jamie Djordjevic works at Providence Southgate.

The chance of surviving a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting is less than 10 percent. “We saved him. He would have died,” said Slobodan Djordjevic, 41, and a PA at CVI for four years. “It just shows you the value of CPR.”

He said he and his wife have kept in touch with the family and have been asked to visit the patient in the next few days.