'I was dead.' Ronkonkoma man who went into cardiac arrest thanks team who saved his life

Michael Gibson and all those who saved his life are sharing the story to highlight the importance of CPR training.

Jun 1, 2023, 9:38 PM

Updated 358 days ago

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A Ronkonkoma man says he is forever grateful to a team of civilians, first responders and doctors for saving his life.
Michael Gibson, 65, was coaching a group of young baseball players when he suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed on Feb. 7.
"I was dead, they said," Gibson says. "I was clinically dead."
Jason Merz, of Mount Sinai, saw what happened and started administering CPR on Gibson and called to people on the field to call 911.
"To see someone on the ground like that, I just wanted to do everything I possibly could to keep him going," Merz says.
Merz says he started compressions and soon realized that Gibson needed more help than he could provide on his own.
Rich Savicki, of Stony Brook, heard Merz's calls for help and put his CPR training into action. He says Gibson had no pulse of his own for around 12 minutes.
Officer Kyle Nilsen arrived with an AED and was able to get Gibson's heart pumping again with one shock.
Terryville Fire Department paramedics rushed Gibson to Mather Hospital, where they diagnosed him with severe coronary artery disease. Gibson underwent a quadruple bypass at South Shore University Hospital.
"I thank these people profusely from the bottom of my heart," Gibson said.
Gibson and all those who saved his life are sharing the story to highlight the importance of CPR training.
"One of the lessons to learn from this is people who don't know CPR should try to learn it," says Dr. Kenneth Hirsch, of Mather Hospital. "It could really make a difference."


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