Following firefighter’s death, Highlands Ranch man remembers day he saved his life

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. -- South Metro firefighter Cody Mooney passed away from complications of brain cancer on Saturday. In the days since, those who were touched by the 31-year-old have shared their stories. Mooney's death strikes an especially sad note for Michael Solomon of Highlands Ranch.

"I'm here because of Cody Mooney," said the 82-year-old in an interview with FOX31 investigative reporter Rob Low, who happens to be Solomon's son-in-law.

"He kept my heart beating in the ambulance," said Solomon, referring to the day in June 2017 when he went into cardiac arrest. Mooney happened to be the paramedic on duty.

"He was quite an amazing person, amazing medic and father," said Solomon.  The then-81-year-old was rushed to Sky Ridge Medical Center, where his heart stopped beating in the emergency room three separate times. Each time, it was Mooney who brought him back to life.

"The physicians they were going to call it. They called in my wife and my son, and Cody said, 'No, let me try again. I know he's in there,' and he did it a third time, and here I am," said Solomon.

Even after Mooney got Solomon's heart beating again, his family was told that if Solomon regained consciousness, he would likely have brain damage and never be the same person again.

But two months later, Michael made a full recovery. With his wife Ann Solomon, Michael paid Mooney a thank-you visit at the Highlands Ranch firehouse where Mooney was stationed.

Solomon said he was, "Very, very, very thankful," he got to share his gratitude with Mooney in person, something he said Mooney told him no other patient had ever done before,.

"He told me after he left the emergency room he never thought he would ever see me again," Solomon said.

Instead, the Solomons stayed in touch with Mooney, bringing him and his fellow firefighters holiday goodies at Christmastime. The first time the Solomons and Mooney reconnected in August 2017, he told them he had just been diagnosed with brain cancer.

"I thought to myself, 'This is not fair.' You know, those kinds of things shouldn't happen to good people," said Solomon.

"I asked him once how it is he managed not to think 24/7 about the tumor in his brain and he said, 'Well, I have four children,'" said Solomon.

Solomon told his son-in-law it's "out of order" that he now lives in good health while Mooney was taken away at the age of 31, his wife pregnant with the couple's fifth child.

"Somebody like this, who had such a rich life ahead of him, you know, shouldn’t be stopped, but he was," said Solomon. "He's helped everyone almost that he's ever been in contact with and then he dies and donates his organs and is still helping."

A family friend told FOX31 that Mooney's organs have benefited 55 people. Funeral services for Mooney will be 1 p.m. Friday at the Mission Hills Church in Littleton. A GoFundMe page has been established to help Mooney's wife and children with expenses.

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