Oak Harbor teacher thanks life-saving responders

A teacher who suffered cardiac arrest on the Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle thanked those who saved his life

An Oak Harbor Intermediate School teacher who suffered cardiac arrest on the Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle in January thanked the first responders who saved his life in a ceremony Friday at the Port of Seattle Fire Department.

Mark Schroeder, a 63-year-old Anacortes resident, was on the shuttle at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport when he collapsed. According to the Port of Seattle, several riders, including some from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, began administering CPR while the shuttle driver called 911. Port of Seattle officers eventually took over the response.

Schroeder was taken to Valley Medical Center in Renton for further treatment.

In a tearful statement at Friday’s ceremony, Schroeder, who teaches sixth grade math and science, said he had just watched Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffer cardiac arrest while watching Monday night football on his Jan. 2 flight.

“My first thought was, ‘Wow, I really feel bad for that guy. I can’t imagine what’s going on,’” he said. “And then several hours later, I found out.”

He said he and his three daughters were grateful for the intervention of every individual who played a role in his rescue and recovery, no matter how small.

“I know all of you are my hero,” he said.