It was 11.45 pm on a winter night in a major metropolitan hospital, Sydney, 1990s.

At the end of a busy shift in the Intensive Care Unit, Angela was walking out to her car when she was urgently called back to the emergency department to attend to a man who was having a ‘cardiac arrest’.

As she walked in, she saw a man in his late thirties surrounded by staff busy performing CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation). Half an hour later and after many unsuccessful attempts to revive the man, the team doctor called an end to the procedure and was about to announce the time of death.

Angela asked for one more attempt and put the paddles on the man’s chest to deliver one last shock. At that moment she felt a kind of certainty settle over her and felt some sort of energy, unrelated to the equipment, pass through her hands. Angela felt that the power of the defibrillator was NOT the only power at work that night.

With that final attempt, the man’s heart started to beat on its own.  

The path of two lives was changed that night. In a very real sense, two people were given a new chance to complete the journey of their extraordinary lives.

The truth is that at a deep level within her, Angela had no doubt about that last shock, she was not surprised with the result. However, she was amazed and incredibly grateful for the experience she had been given, and it proved to be life-changing.

Four days later she was called by the man’s wife. As they were talking and as the woman was thanking her for saving her husband’s life, their daughter walked in the room to visit him – in her bridal gown. It was her wedding day and she wanted to visit her father before walking down the aisle. It was an emotional moment for all. With tear-filled eyes Angela watched the daughter hug her father.

Broken Heart

About 4 years later a man was brought into Intensive Care and the staff member told her, ‘That man wants to see you’. As she walked in he said ‘Hello, Angela, you saved my life four years ago, four days before my daughter’s wedding’. And he said ‘we are ever so grateful and we often talked about you over the past four years. He and his wife were very grateful and he boasted that he now had grandchildren!

As a result of this experience, Angela went to work in her spare time studying everything she could find to help her bring the energies she felt that night into her life more permanently so she could help others.

In 2007 she decided to write a book called ‘Loving Your Heart’. The book was launched in Sydney in 2008. Sometime later, she found herself addressing a group that had asked her to give a talk about her work, her book, and her ideas. She talked about the heart and how important this beautiful organ is.

However, for some unknown reason during that talk, she moved away from her notes and decided to share the story about the man whose life she saved about 18 years ago. As she did, she noticed 2 people talking intently. ‘Am I talking about someone you know?’ she inquired.

The man stood up and said ‘That was me! You saved my life about 18 years ago’. As he came to the front of the audience and they embraced each other, there were tears in people’s eyes.

The woman who was with him revealed ‘Angela, you saved a wonderful man’s life. He helps many people in our community by working with disabled people. He is such a dedicated worker’.

Extraordinarily, at the time of deciding to become a nurse, because of her father’s dedication to his patients with leprosy in Sri Lanka, Angela had also wanted to work with the disabled. She was faced with a choice and chose critical care nursing.

How incredible that the man, whose life Angela felt had been saved by forces outside of the ordinary that night in 1990s, had gone on to work with the disabled as she had wanted to do. It was as if life was fulfilling two destinies in one lifetime.

31 years later Angela called this man’s mobile and his wife answered the phone – after Angela introduced herself – she said my husband would love to talk to you and handed the phone to him – he is now in his 70’s –
He said my younger daughter wants to know who is the nurse who saved your life dad!
What an amazing and powerful world we live in.

Angela Peris - open your heart