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Woman who collapsed after ordering sandwich thanks those who saved her life

HOUSTON – A typical run to Subway turned out to be anything but typical for one local woman after she collapsed at the restaurant.

She came face to face Tuesday with the firefighters who saved her life.

Mary Swinton doesn't remember much about what happened inside a Subway in July 2015, but one thing she knows for sure is that she wouldn't be around today without the help of the Houston firefighters from Station 44.

Swinton, all smiles, said these angels in disguise gave her a second chance at life.

"Life is so precious and in an instant it can change," Swinton said.

About one year ago, the 64-year-old was on her lunch break and the last thing she remembers is ordering her meal.

"Until I woke up about 10 days later in the hospital and I'm thinking, OK, why am I here? What's going on?" she said.

Doctors believe Swinton's pacemaker failed, sending her into cardiac arrest.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, she had no pulse. They started giving her CPR and then used a defibrillator to help bring her back to life.

"She actually had pulses and also she lost pulses, so we defibrillated her three times," said firefighter Jeremy Jones.

Swinton spent the next two months in the hospital, where the firefighters came to visit her.

Now, one year later, as a new group of firefighters learns to use the equipment that helped save her life, Swinton thanks the men who refused to give up when she needed them the most.

"It means a lot. Just, sort of, the appreciation for the work that we do and that we love doing," Jones said.

"I wouldn't do anything less because they actually helped save my life," Swinton said.