Musician saved by audience members - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Musician saved by audience members

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Two weeks ago today, Clayton Hartley was doing what he loved -- performing with his band Solera at an emergency response convention.

In attendance there were numerous EMT's and firefighters.

All of a sudden, Hartley collapsed on stage. But because he was in the right place, right time -- he's here's today.

Hartley is making remarkable progress. He had three stint surgeries in all. The first surgery was on the night he collapsed. He had three heart blockages removed. The last two surgeries were yesterday afternoon.

He says the support he's received from friends is what has led him to keeping his head held high. 

"He's  very humble, very talented. He's the best guitar player in town," said Mark Scheaffer, bandmate.

"I feel very blessed and very lucky for that to happen because the way it attacked me, from what I've been told, it attacked me quick. The last thing I remember doing was finishing off that song, hitting the cord like that. Then I remember just waking up -- looking over to my right. My friend, the lead vocalist of our band, my best friend sitting there with her eyes watered up, looking at me starting to smile," said Hartley.

"Without the CPR by the bystanders, he wouldn't have been able to keep his blood circulating long enough. And by the time we got there and got the medication given, the time had decreased to get him back," said Matt Hardwick, Rural Metro Paramedic.

Hartley was in the best hands possible before the ambulance arrived on scene. 

For Hartley's second family -- his bandmates -- what had just unfolded in front of their eyes was a nightmare.

"And kept on hearing them say, 'full arrest' or 'he's not breathing' and then you know -- then we would kind of freak out even more. And then everybody just kept on reassuring us they're working on him. They got the best people here," said Scheaffer.

"It happened at the right place and the right time and all the available resources were there that he needed to survive until we could arrive," said Hardwick.

"It's a medical miracle. There has to be a higher -- obviously, God's doing something here," said Scheaffer.

"I'm feeling about as good as I can right now," said Hartley.

Hartley says he's confident he'll be taking the stage -- guitar in hand -- in no time.

A benefit fund has been set up for Hartley at Great Western under 'Manda Kokales in Benefit of Clayton Hartley.'


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