After suffering a near fatal heart attack, a 74-year-old man is lucky to be alive. When interviewing with Denver Inquirer, Phillip McKenzie says that his life was saved because of his pet lab, Jessie. Jessie has been McKenzie’s assistant dog for the last three years, but this last even changed everything…

While watching TV in his living room, McKenzie started getting shortness of breath and chest pains. “I knew right away that it wasn’t good,” he told the Denver Inquirer. “I started to get up from the couch to go to the phone but halfway there I collapsed onto the floor and couldn’t get up. I couldn’t even open my mouth to call for help, the pain was so bad.”

In the moment McKenzie started to fall, Jessie rushed to his aid and began licking. “I think at first she thought I was playing around,” he told the Denver Inquirer from a hospital room in recovery. “But after I didn’t respond to her and kept writhing in pain I think it dawned on her that this was something serious.”

ap3000aJessie came to her owner after an incident in 2013 when he fell in the bath and hurt his hip. The fear of that event made his daughter demand that he gets an assistant dog. Along with the dog came a K9 rescue alarm within the house. Most people, including McKenzie, would probably say that was not needed. “I told her it was a complete overreaction and unnecessary at the time. Now, I’ve got to say that decision saved my life.”

When Jessie finally realized McKenzie wasn’t getting up, she took off for the K9 alarm. When she pressed the button to dial 911, the speakerphone came alive with the sound of a dispatcher, but McKenzie couldn’t talk…

“Instead, Jessie just started barking her head off, which I’m sure confused the dispatchers for a bit,” McKenzie recounted the moments before he passed out. “After a while, It must have dawned on them what had happened, and they said they would send paramedics to my address.

Thanks to Jessie, Mr. McKenzie is alive and well. It’s amazing what an assistant dog can do. Never rule out the possibility of getting an assistant dog for a loved one or yourself. They can be the difference between life and death.

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Article via Denver Inquirer