Toronto resident Jason Kroft, his wife and their two young children came to New York city earlier this month to visit Kroft’s brother-in-law, Andrew Zeller. Zeller was giving the Canadian family a tour of 30 Rockefeller Plaza when Kroft, who had no history of heart disease, went into cardiac arrest, fell to the ground and stopped breathing.

As his wife screamed for help, a red-haired stranger in a blazer and dress pants emerged from the crowd, stuck his briefcase under Kroft’s head and began applying cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The CPR was so forceful that it broke a couple of Kroft’s ribs. It was also exactly what was needed to save his life.

“If he hadn’t done CPR compression between cardiac arrest and the time the ambulance arrived, Jason would have severe brain damage,” Zeller told Yahoo.

Once at the hospital, Kroft underwent triple-bypass surgery. He also had to have his body chilled to 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) for 24 hours because doctors found that he had suffered two brain aneurysms.

Despite all of this, Kroft is expected to return to normal, eventually.

Now Kroft’s family wants to find the quick-thinking stranger, who disappeared into the crowd after the paramedics arrived. Zeller has put 20 signs up around Rockefeller Plaza in hopes the red-headed man will see one and reveal himself.

“We want to thank him,” Zeller said. “He’s a hero.”


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