Woman grateful for stranger who brought her back to life

Published: Sep. 30, 2018 at 9:35 PM CDT
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A Lincoln woman said she's lucky to be alive after her heart failed while behind the wheel of her car.

It's all thanks to two strangers who helped revive her without a moment's hesitation.

"I wasn't here until those girls brought me back," said Elaine Schaffstall.

A week ago, she lay lifeless in the driver's seat of her banged-up car. On Sunday, her body was still battered and bruised.

"All my ribs hurt in front and back. My legs are fairly bruised and it's just not comfortable," Schaffstall said.

But she's alive.

"I left this world," she laughed.

Schaffstall was going to shop at ShopKo after having lunch with her sister. She was driving along the building when her car hit the cub as her heart suddenly stopped.

She crossed over the street and narrowly missed a light pole. Schaffstall ended up hitting a tree before rumbling across the street as her car stopped inside a law firm's parking lot.

"I don't remember any of that though," she said.

Schaffstall doesn't remember her savior either.

It was a respiratory therapist and her wife, who is a nurse, that were waiting in the wings to restart her heart.

"They did 10 minutes of CPR," Schaffstall explained.

Four days after the scare, her niece wrote a Facebook post about the miracle, hoping the message could reach the person that saved her aunt's life.

Over 100 shares later, Schaffstall's phone rang. The message had been delivered.

"I thanked her. I think of her as an angel. She was just glad that I was alive and doing better. I'm just glad to be alive and able to share my life with my kids still," Schaffstall said.

Her sister, Paula, died a few years ago from heart failure while in a car.

Jill and SeLina Ysac are the names of the women who saved Schaffstall's life.