A voice on the other end of a phone, a call made in a scary, dire circumstance: Shelly Abbott dialed 911 and dispatcher Megan Haynes answered, the start of a unforeseeable bond.
On Sept. 19, 2015 Abbott's dad Ed was recovering at home after a lung biopsy. He laid down in his chair and took a nap. Awhile later, Abbott walked into her dad's house when she saw her brother.
"He was just shaking his head and I was like what's going on? And he was like you need to get in there, something's wrong. In my head the whole time I was thinking my dad's fine, nothing is wrong. He's probably just sleeping hard," she said.
But Ed was unresponsive.
Abbott, a healthcare worker, knew the importance of getting emergency services as quickly as possible, so she dialed 911. Megan Haynes answered.
"I tell her my dad's not responding and he just had this surgery and she can hear him in the background and thank heavens...if she didn't hear his breathing I don't think we would've started CPR at all," Abbott said.
Haynes told Abbott to get her father on the ground and perform CPR.
"I"m feeling these ribs break underneath me, and she's like keep going, keep going...and I'm like I can't, the whole time I'm compressing I'm like I can't do this...yes you can...so she was just walking me through, Megan was just walking me through this the whole time," Abbott said.
Finally, emergency services arrived on scene and Abbott's father was taken to the hospital. He woke up in a hospital bed with a tube in his throat and no idea what happened.
Two years later, voices from over the phone met face to face, but the meeting wasn't by chance. Megan reached out to Haynes through Facebook.
In her more than 7 years has been a dispatcher, it was the first time Haynes had ever met a person she helped over the phone.
"I literally died and through the 911 operator and first responders, they brought me back to life," Abbott's father said, "It was just something really neat to finally see the person who helped save my life."
"Every holiday that we celebrated and came together after that incident...was like...thank God you're here...because what would it be like without you," Abbott told Haynes.
"It's an amazing feeling to look at her and know her family is whole because of what I could provide to her over the phone and what she did in person on scene," Haynes said.
Haynes was awarded a red lifesaver pin for her role in successfully saving Ed Abbott's life.