MANTECA (CBS13) — A local band’s performance was cut short when the lead guitarist collapsed from a heart attack, but as luck would have it, a fan in the front row was also an emergency room nurse.
Thursday was the first time Michael Tiffany, 61, and Stephanie Stubbings met since the night in April when a fan recording a favorite band found herself on stage trying to save a life.
“The last thing I remember is walking into the bar after I left the hotel room to go play,” he said.
Tiffany is back playing the guitar after a gig that nearly ended his career and his life.
“Basically they said, you were playing and you just went straight backwards just like if you were to cut down a tree,” he said.
Amateur video shows Tiffany on the guitar as his band, the Andromeda Project, played at a Manteca nightclub. He finishes his solo strong, and then:
“My knees didn’t buckle; it was just bam,” he said.
Stubbings met Tiffany for the first time in with him in an upright position. An ER nurse for 17 years, Stubbings was at the Islander Bar that night as a fan of the band.
“I was holding my phone and filming it and I got his solo then as soon as he went back and I just turned it off,” she said.
Tiffany had avoided seeing the tape of his fall until Thursday’s meeting.
“Ooo, I know what’s coming,” he said. “Ooo, that left a mark.”
With no pulse, Stubbings started chest compressions amid the chaos on stage. Without CPR, it’s likely he would have died on the stage that night.
The fire department arrived 12 minutes later and put him on an automatic defibrillator that shocked his heart back into rhythm.
“There’s no doubt she saved my live,” Tiffany said.
Now, with the rhythm of his heart back, he is grateful on that night he had a fan who knew what she was doing when she rushed on stage.
“When you see somebody like that jump in there and knew what to do and is the reason I’m here it’s just really cool,” he said.
Tiffany says his doctor has given him the OK to play again on stage. He’s a little nervous, but he says he’s determined to finish that performance that was cut short.
Stubbings says she’ll be there.