4:34 pm - 11/07/2012
During early voting in Southfield Township in Michigan on Monday, even a near-death experience couldn't keep one elderly voter away from the polls.
Ty Houston was filling out his absentee ballot at the township offices when an elderly woman near him started screaming.
"I was filling out the form as were an elderly couple sitting at a nearby table," Houston, 48, told the Detroit News on Tuesday. "His wife, who was helping him fill out the ballot, asked him a couple of questions but he didn't respond. She screamed for help, and I went over to see what I could do."
A registered home-care nurse, Houston responded immediately, moving the victim to the floor and assessing the situation. "He was dead," Houston said. "He had no heartbeat, and he wasn't breathing."
He started performing CPR, and a few minutes later the man started breathing again. He had a tracheotomy tube in his throat, but could speak."He knew his name and his wife's name," Houston said.
But the victim's first question after his near-death experience took everyone by surprise. "Did I vote?" he asked astonished onlookers.The man's wife tried to reassure him that it wasn't important, but Houston says the man responded that only two things were important: "That I love you and that I finished what I came here to do—vote."
They checked. He had.
EMS arrived on the scene and took the couple to William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, the Detroit News reported. Though the county clerk, Sharon Tischler, confirmed the event, neither she nor Houston knew the name of the victim or his wife.
Houston said he's glad he decided to vote when he did. "It was God's divine word that I be there," he said. "Originally, I was just going to skip the ballot and just go to lunch that day."