The family of Jason Kroft would like the man who saved his life to know they are thankful. The problem is, the good Samaritan is nowhere to be found.
During a visit from Toronto on Oct. 5, Kroft, 40, was sightseeing with his family in Manhattan. As the family approached the corner of 6th Avenue and 45th Street, Kroft grabbed his heart and fell to his knees, having suffered a serious heart attack.
"We were walking across 45th Street," said Kroft's brother Ryan, who had joined Kroft, Kroft's wife Marci, and their two daughters, Sloane, 7, and Harper, 9, "when Jason said he was having very bad indigestion. And that's when he fell to his knees."
People rushed over, Kroft says, and urged him to call 9-1-1, which he did.
"Marci screamed that Jason was turning blue and around that moment I turned to speak to 9-1-1 operators. Then the man appeared and asked a few questions and the next thing I knew he was giving mouth-to-mouth," Ryan Kroft said.
Kroft says his brother soon began to make sounds as if he was trying to breathe and his color returned to normal.
The man continued doing chest compressions on Kroft for 10 minutes until the ambulance arrived, the family said.
"Marci was on the ground holding Jason's hand and I was trying to comfort the children, so we never got a good look at the guy. Then, we all ran with the stretcher as they loaded Jason into the ambulance," the brother said.
In the moments that paramedics took over and continued stabilizing Kroft, the hero slipped into the crowd and disappeared before the family was able to thank him.
Kroft was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital then to St. Luke's where he underwent emergency open-heart surgery and where he is now recovering.
The family wants to personally thank the man who kept them together. On Friday, Ryan Kroft's husband Adam Zeller posted signs in the area of the incident, with his contact information, in an effort to track down the good Samaritan. As of today, the family has only been able to identify the man as in his 40's, red-haired, and wearing a blue jacket and dress pants.
Ryan Kroft said he suspects the man won't come forward.
"We would definitely like to find the guy and thank him, but if he doesn't want to be identified, we don't want to force him. I hope all the media around this reaches him and he knows how much we appreciate him," Ryan Kroft said.
Kroft also stressed the importance of learning CPR.
"Everyone should know it. I haven't had classes in that since I was 14," he said, "I was useless other than to call 9-1-1."