‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and a dog: How a metro Atlanta couple saved a man’s life

A man searching for a couple who rescued him after a bad fall has found them — and learned that it was an infatuation with a TV medical drama that taught them how to react and save his life.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution posted a story online Tuesday about James W. Kennedy trying to find the pair who saved his life after falling and almost dying in a park near Buckhead. All he had was a picture of a woman in the couple. After less than four hours, multiple emails came in identifying the lifesavers.

Spencer Morrow said he was at work Tuesday morning when his girlfriend Courtney LaRusso sent him a screenshot of the article.

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By that night, they had described to the AJC what it was like to save the 70-year-old man’s life.

The couple, both age 23, were walking their dog Riley through the park on Sept. 24 like they do a few times a week when they heard something.

Morrow said they were about 50 yards away when they saw Kennedy on the ground, so he rushed over. What he didn’t know was that in a fall, Kennedy had severed his temporal artery, which runs along both temples.

“I’m seeing all the blood come out,” said Morrow, a Carrollton native. He told Kennedy’s wife to dial 911, but she was in such shock that he dialed on her phone and handed it back.

By then, LaRusso had tied their dog to a bench and told her boyfriend to take off his shirt. She used the shirt to put pressure on the wound until an ambulance arrived to rush him to surgery. Kennedy said doctors told him that the couple’s quick action saved his life.

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When asked how LaRusso, an accountant, knew to do that, the Peachtree City native said it was all “Grey’s Anatomy,” the hospital drama that premiered its 16th season the day after Kennedy’s fall.

“I’ve probably watched the show, every season, nine times through,” she said. “I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to do it without watching.”

Kennedy’s wife hugged them before getting on the ambulance. The couple went home to wash the blood off them without expecting to hear from the man they just saved.

But from his home in Cocoa Beach, Florida, Kennedy sent the couple an email Wednesday morning and thanked them.

Credit: James W. Kennedy James W. Kennedy

Credit: James W. Kennedy James W. Kennedy

Not only that, but he invited them to his old office: NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where Kennedy (no relation) was previously the director, overseeing 15,000 employees and contractors.

He invited them on a tour of the center and a chance to have lunch with an astronaut. And because Morrow’s shirt was obviously ruined in the lifesaving process, Kennedy offered him a nice new NASA T-shirt.

Morrow is just glad they decided to walk Riley.

“I guess we can give her the credit for being in the park that day,” he said.

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