A Cincinnati Bengals fan saved a Las Vegas Raiders fan’s life outside of Paul Brown Stadium on Saturday, just before the two teams squared off in their Wild Card playoff matchup.
Noah Harsh and his grandfather, 78-year-old Ed Fernandes, a die-hard Raiders fan originally from Oakland, traveled from Miamisburg to Paul Brown Stadium to root for their team, but Noah could tell something was awry, he told WLWT.
“I just knew something was off just the way he was falling so I tried to catch him but he just fell,” Harsh explained.
He watched his grandfather fall to the ground and found himself in a panic. Suddenly, Jerry Mills – a Bengals superfan – jumped in to save Fernandes.
Mills, who works as a nurse in a Dallas, Texas, emergency room and formerly worked as a Covington, Ohio, firefighter, had finished tailgating before the game and was near the ticket booth when he saw Fernandes on the ground, according to WKRC. Bystanders thought Fernandes was suffering from a seizure, but Mills felt more was going on.
“I look at him and, I’m like, ‘that doesn’t look like a seizure activity.’ I look for a pulse, he didn’t have a pulse, and I was like, ‘I’m going to start CPR right now,'” Mills told WLWT.
Another nurse rushed over to assist the Bengals fan.
“When I started CPR another nurse came up and she opened his airway for me and we started CPR right away,” Mills told WLWT. “God has a reason for everything because for me to come all the way from Texas and there were a lot of people there at the time, and nobody jumped down to check and see if he had a pulse.”
Mills, a brother-in-law of Bengals Running Backs Coach Justin Hill, told WKRC:
“Being a nurse for the past three years, I’ve always told everybody I work with, ‘Look, we’re not losing nobody on my shift,'” Mills said.
That’s how he felt outside PBS [Paul Brown Stadium] Saturday.
“I’m sitting there telling him, ‘I’m not losing you today.’ And so, the other nurse was helping and two minutes later, he got a pulse,” Mills said.
The nurses worked hand in hand to keep Fernandes alive until Cincinnati Firefighters arrived on the scene.
Fernandes is now in UC Medical Center with heart blockages and is set to undergo surgery Thursday.
“Without Jerry we’d be telling a different story,” said Fernandes’s grandson.
Mills says it was part of God’s divine plan for him to be there on Saturday.
“I believe God put me there for a reason so that man could have another day of living,” Mills told WLWT.
He told WKRC that he could care less the 78-year-old was a Raiders fan.
“I was like, ‘Hey, I’m about to save your life,” he recalled. “I don’t care what team you’re cheering for. You’re going to live today. We’re going to get you back.'”