Singer Peabo Bryson thanks first responders who saved his life

The R&B singer suffered a heart attack earlier this month.

ATLANTA — On Tuesday, a well-known R&B singer thanked the people who saved his life. Peabo Bryson had a heart attack April 27.

He had no pulse and was not breathing. Only 13% of victims found in this condition survive the ordeal. Bryson did and made it his priority to visit the local fire station to hug and thank those who helped save him.

“Here I am, thanks to you guys,” Bryson declared inside the bay of Cobb County Fire Station 3 in Marietta on Terrell Mill Road.

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“With 911, a lot of times, we don’t get to know the outcome,” explained Chris Hayes, the 911 operator who helped the Brysons. This case would be different. The Grammy- and Oscar-winning musician survived due to the quick action and calmness of Hayes, who was on the line with Bryson’s wife, Tanya Boniface Bryson.


“I was a mess, and you guided me through it in a way that I wouldn't have been able to do without you,” she told Hayes.

First responders said the Bryson home is only about a mile from the station and compressions Tanya Bryson began on her husband made the lifesaving difference.

“He just made it very clear, very quickly that, ‘Ma'am, you're gonna need to give him CPR,' and in that moment, I knew the validity of the situation,” Tanya Bryson admitted.

The 68-year-old singer said his life is now filled with overwhelming gratitude: “You have so much to be grateful for. You spend most of your time counting your blessings.”

Two of those blessings, Hayes and Tanya Bryson, were given the Citizen Lifesaving Award. Hayes, who has been with the department for nine years, stated, “It’s not something that happens every day, so it really means a lot to know that I helped him.”

Peabo Bryson said he knows there’s a song in the ordeal somewhere and he will advocate for first responders for the rest of his life.