Keith Coleman called them heroes. The Kelowna man in his mid-40s who collapsed while playing pickleball at Riverside Park in Kamloops on Saturday may not be alive without them. "Sometimes when we're working on patients on cardiac arrest, it does seem hopeless, where things just don't seem like we're going to get positive results," said Sean McCartan of Edmonton Fire Rescue, one of the first responders. "In this case, you could tell there was something different. He was really fighting for his life. We continued to work until Kamloops Fire [Rescue] showed up." Coleman texted KTW on Monday night from Kelowna, where he is in stable condition. “These people are heroes and the story should be about them,” Coleman said. “I am very grateful for the help I received. I have been receiving good care at the Kamloops and Kelowna hospitals.” Coleman listed names of those who responded first, noting there may be some he is missing. Retired nurse Joanne Lifford of Kamloops and McCartan reacted quickly and began administering CPR. Retired fire captain Jim Davies of the pickleball club was also among the first responders, said Coleman. Tournament co-ordinator Ross Perkin, whose name was among those mentioned by Coleman, commended work done by St. John Ambulance. Coleman thanked division 518 superintendent Andy Philpot and three medical first responder volunteers — Matt Forsythe, Suzette Woodward and Rowena Dato. Philpot said St. John Ambulance has been on site for about five full cardiac arrests in Kamloops in the last 10 years. “It’s something we train for and hope we never have to do,” said Philpot, who credited the volunteers and noted he was working elsewhere in the city when the incident occured. “Having the equipment there does make a difference and also having people on site that are trained in how to use it, working alongside firefighters and BC Ambulance.” There were three AEDs on site, including one provided by the club. That was good planning. Having a retired fire captain, a retired nurse and a working firefighter standing by was lucky. They were there to play pickleball. Exactly what happened to Coleman remains unclear, but he was enjoying a game at the Kamloops Open when he suddenly fell. “Either he collapsed or tripped, but he hit his head and then his heart stopped,” said KJ Klontz, a Kamloops Pickleball Club member who was there when Coleman went down. “We don’t know if his heart stopped and then he fell or if it was the other way around. “He lost his pulse. St. John administered the first AED and by then the paramedics and firefighters showed up. They shocked him a second time. When he left the court on a stretcher, there was no pulse and they were still administering CPR manually.” Klontz said it was a traumatic experience, noting she was relieved to hear good news later Saturday. “We heard a few hours later that he came to and then later that evening he was actually sitting up,” she said. “I’ll just tell you I’m happy that guy is alive. It was just devastating. His wife was there holding his hand saying, ‘Don’t leave me.’” Coleman told KTW he will say more when he is feeling better. "He wasn't breathing and didn't have a heart rate on his own," said McCartan, who was walking to the courts from his hotel when he was called into action. "We were having to breathe and pump blood through his body for him. "A couple of hours later, I was told he was alive and talking and actually doing quite well. He was complaining of sore ribs. I might have been doing a bit of trauma to his ribs, which is normal during CPR. If that's the worst complaint after somebody had been technically dead for several minutes, then it's probably not a bad thing to be complaining about." McCartan said Lifford was well-trained and congratulated all responders. "It was nice to have that kind of result," McCartan said. "It was great actually. I was a little overwhelmed. It is rare that does happen, especially to someone that young and healthy."