In front of a large crowd of family and friends, Merriam Police Officer Kristin Hannabass received the Life Saving Award at the Jan. 22 Merriam City Council meeting. Standing next to her was the man she saved.
On Jan. 6, Officer Hannabass was first on scene during a medical emergency call. Only a block and a half away, she raced inside Merriam resident Terry Spruk’s home and used an automated external defibrillator (AED) to revive the 59-year-old man after he suffered a heart attack and became unconscious.
Officer Hannabass said it was an “incredible relief” to see Spruk take a few breaths after she used the AED on him.
“At that point, I knew there was still a chance that he could hold on long enough for Med-Act and fire to arrive on scene. I just had to help him hold on for a little longer,” Officer Hannabass said.
Spruk and his wife, Linda, said they are thankful Officer Hannabass was there in their time of need and credit her with saving Terry’s life.
“I was amazed she didn’t hesitate. She just got right in there and got done what needed to be done,” Terry Spruk said. “I’m sure it was her training, but there was no hesitation on her part.”
The Spruks had just finished watching the Chief’s lose the playoff football game when Terry said he thought he had some indigestion. He lay down but felt a bit better after a few minutes. Then, he had his heart attack.
“I remember every minute of it,” Linda Spruk said.
Linda said medical staff shocked Terry 18 times to keep him alive.
“I’m so thankful they didn’t give up,” she said.
“I’m always amazed at the Merriam Police Department and how good they are and – really now,” Terry Spruk said.
Merriam Police Chief Michael Daniels said Officer Hannabass embraces the department’s core values of courage, sacrifice, and compassion.
“Police Officer Hannabass is an exceptionally caring officer,” Chief Daniels said. “This is just one example of her willingness to show compassion.”
Officer Hannabass said receiving the Life Saving Award is a very humbling experience.
“We often get quite invested in calls for service like Terry’s,” Officer Hannabass said. “Unfortunately, they don’t always work out as miraculously. It’s nice to see a positive outcome like this one.”
Officer Hannabass and the Spruks said they will always be connected to one another after going through such an intimate experience. They plan to stay in touch.
“Really, I probably shouldn’t be here, but I’m very fortunate,” Terry Spruk said. “We’re real thankful to her.”
“It’s nice to see him get back home and back to his life,” Officer Hannabass said.
Police Chief Michael Daniels presents the Life Saving Award to Police Officer Kristin Hannabass
Terry and Linda Spruk with Officer Hannabass
Officer Hannabass receives the Life Saving Award
Mayor Ken Sissom congratulates Officer Hannabass
Police Chief Daniels, Officer Hannabass, and Terry Spruk
Police Officer Colin Brown receives a certificate of appreciation for helping save Spruk's life