Florida Surgeon General Joesph Ladapo jumped into action and saved a man’s life after he collapsed Tuesday morning on the grounds of the state Capitol in Tallahassee.
According to Orlando’s News 13, 57-year-old Willie James Davis Jr. was attending an event for children at the Capitol Courtyard when he experienced a cardiac event.
Ladapo happened to be in the area, and he jumped into action, the TV station reported, citing an incident report.
The state’s top doctor went to work immediately, performing chest compressions on Davis and using a defibrillator to stabilize him.
Davis was eventually transported to an area hospital, and he survived. First responders told News 13 that Ladapo’s actions likely saved the man’s life.
Both men spoke to the outlet about the incident.
“I’m grateful I was at the right place at the right time,” Ladapo said of his actions. “I love being a doctor, and I especially appreciate times when my experience makes a difference.”
Davis thanked the surgeon general, whom he called an “angel,” after the pair reunited at the hospital.
“A perfect stranger made a decision to give aid and saved my life,” he said. “I believe he already has his wings. Again, I thank God for the blessing of continued life and the angel he sent me.”
Jason Delgado with News 13 shared an image on Twitter of the pair together.
Surgeon General Ladapo visited the man today at the hospital.
The man shared these words:
“A perfect stranger made a decision to give aid & saved my life. I believe he already has his wings… Again, I thank God for the blessing of continued life and the angel he sent me.” pic.twitter.com/WHDEx3tGat
— Jason Delgado (@byJasonDelgado) March 29, 2023
Ladapo said he intends to remain in contact with Davis.
“I am praying for his recovery and look forward to getting together with him when he’s released from the hospital,” he said.
Among those who celebrated the surgeon general’s heroic actions was Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who tweeted about it Friday morning.
“We know we can count on @FLSurgeonGen Joe Ladapo to protect Floridians against medical authoritarianism and Faucist decrees, and we can also count on him to spring into action and save lives in real time,” the governor wrote.
“Great job, Dr. Ladapo!” he added.
We know we can count on @FLSurgeonGen Joe Ladapo to protect Floridians against medical authoritarianism and Faucist decrees, and we can also count on him to spring into action and save lives in real time.
Great job, Dr. Ladapo! https://t.co/642vyjGA1M
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 31, 2023
Ladapo was one of few physicians to publicly challenge the prevailing narratives about the COVID-19 pandemic early in 2020.
Born in Nigeria and a graduate of Harvard Medical School, Florida’s surgeon general was appointed to his position by DeSantis in September 2021.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.