Pastor credits Vanderbilt professor for saving life

Pastor credits Vanderbilt professor for saving life (Image 1)

A Nashville pastor is counting his blessings after a Vanderbilt University professor and the professor's family saved his life last month.

Mark Schoenfield, Ph.D., chair of Vanderbilt Department of English, was backing out of the driveway of his Hillsboro Village home, heading to the airport, when his wife and son spotted a distressed man lying in the street.

“My wife and son looked in the back and pointed back there and said, ‘Is that someone lying on the ground,'” Schoenfield said.

The family quickly jumped out of the car to assist the man, who lives several doors away.

Schoenfield administered CPR after the runner, later identified as Pastor Rob Taylor, stopped breathing.  The professor's son, Josh, quickly called 911.

Schoenfield's other son, Michael, a Vanderbilt student, and his friend also rushed outside and assisted with compressions until emergency responders arrived.

“As we arrived, even the gasping stopped,” Dr. Schoenfield said, adding, “So as we rotated with the CPR, one of us was always cushioning the head, and then the ambulances came up and we all stepped up on the sidewalk and let them do their thing.”

Pastor Taylor was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he was admitted to the cardiovascular intensive care unit.

The 47-year-old man was diagnosed with sudden cardiac death. Officials said the avid runner's heart suddenly stopped beating as he completed a three-mile run.

“I've lost about four days of memory,” Taylor said. “I don't remember that day at all.”.

Taylor, who is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Brentwood, told Nashville's News 2 that he is grateful for the Schoenfield family.

“How do you repay someone for saving your life, other than to letting them know that it's not in vain, and I'm going to continue to do what I feel God has called me to do and make a difference, and let others know the impact of those being trained in CPR can actually have on some person's life,” he said. 

Schoenfield told Nashville's News 2 he was relieved when he met Taylor in the hospital.

“I did one thing right and that is I took the CPR class,” he said. “I feel really good about having done that.”

Taylor was released from the hospital in late June.

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