For most new couples, a first kiss is something equal parts exhilarating and nerve-wracking, spontaneous but also meticulously mulled over.

For Andi Traynor and Max Montgomery, however, it was more than exhilarating, it was  — quite literally — life-changing.

Like a lot of couples these days, Traynor and Montgomery met online. Montgomery had posted on Facebook that he was looking for friends to train with him for a marathon paddleboard event, and Traynor answered.


They had three successful training sessions together, but everything changed during the faithful fourth session when Montgomery felt an aggressive burning sensation in his chest.

“I kept saying just make it to the car, make it to the car and I said I need to put the board down and I put the board down and then boom that was it,” Montgomery told CBS News.

The burning sensation turned out to be cardiac arrest. Montgomery didn’t have a heartbeat for 17 minutes.

Traynor, a doctor, was quick to jump into lifesaving action. She immediately got down on her knees to administer CPR and mouth-to-mouth.

“I checked for a pulse and I didn’t feel a pulse,” Traynor told CBS, “I just — I thought he was dead.”

“I ran 10.4 miles the night before — I had no idea I was gonna have a heart attack,” Montgomery said. “Luckily I was with someone who knew CPR. Without it I’m not here.”


Here’s where the love story really begins: Of course, as a trained doctor, Traynor did everything she could to keep Montgomery alive until the EMTs could take over. She credits her action simply by saying, “CPR kept his brain alive so that he could be who he has always been.”


If it wasn’t for her quick thinking and ability to perform CPR, there’s no telling what may have happened to Montgomery, but the two choose to see their first kiss as being just as magical as the more traditional route:

“That first kiss being CPR was obviously very magical because here I am and I’m very grateful that I’m able to experience further kisses,” Montgomery told CBS.

“I got the opportunity to share life with him and it doesn’t seem awkward or anything that was our first kiss,” Traynor added.

3 more inspiring love stories: