“He’s My Guardian Angel.” – Graham Meets the Man Who Helped Save His Life


You may remember Graham Newman, the man searching for the lady who covered him with a quilt after he had a heart attack in 2014, from a previous story on SaultOnline this week. Thanks to that story, Newman had the opportunity on Friday to meet the man who helped save his life.

Sitting across from each other over coffee at the Water Tower Inn and Pub’s Starbucks location, the two men talked about that fateful day in 2014 that brought them together.

John O’Leary was headed to Tim Horton’s on Brock St. after picking his daughter up from dance class in November of 2014 when he noticed Newman laying on the sidewalk while his brother-in-law was looking around in a panic. He then used his car to block off traffic in the lane closest to the Royal Bank of Canada and got out to perform first aid on Newman. After realizing Newman wasn’t breathing and had no vital signs, O’Leary performed CPR on him until paramedics arrived.

“That’s when the lady came up and she covered his body with a quilt, we got a coat rolled up under the back of his head to help stabilize his neck,” he said. “And the same lady with the quilt ran over to check on my daughter and look after her while I was performing CPR on him.”

The two connected after O’Leary’s wife saw the SaultOnline post on Facebook and brought it to his attention.

“My wife tagged me in it because he mentioned a young army fella who was the one that gave him CPR, and she’s like ‘Johnathon, wasn’t that you on the side of the road?’ and I thought, ‘Yeah,'” he explained.

Both men say it’s amazing to finally have the opportunity to meet in person after all these years.

“After it happened, I checked into the hospital to see how he was, and they just told me he was flown to Toronto and he was alive, but that’s all that they could tell me at the time,” O’Leary said. “That put a smile on my face, to know he was alive. For the last four years, I wondered who he was, how he’s doing now, and it’s pretty amazing to finally meet him.”

“He’s my guardian angel,” Newman said. “Just like the movie ‘It’s A Wonderful Life,’ he’s my guardian angel.”

What does the future hold for these two gentlemen? As of the publication of this article, they have no plans set in stone, but have exchanged contact information so they can keep in touch with one another. As of right  now, O’Leary is headed back to Petawawa, and Newman is still in search of the mystery woman with the quilt.

Local Man Searches for Woman
(Left to Right) ONNtv’s Tim Murphy and Graham Newman hold up the quilt an anonymous woman placed over Newman after he suffered a heart attack four years ago. Newman is in search of this woman to thank her for helping him in his time of need.

If anyone has any information or leads on who this woman may be, email Soo Quilts for Kids at [email protected] or the SaultOnline newsroom at [email protected]



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