Heart attack victim thanks bystanders, defibrillator for saving his life

Published: Monday, February 25, 2013 at 10:44 PM.

Studies have shown that sooner defibrillation in this type of instance is key to saving someone’s life.

"You want early intervention because oxygen levels in the bloodstream are still high, so if we had maybe been here 10 minutes later and he hadn’t been defibrillated, we would have to have done CPR and put oxygen back into his bloodstream to actually have a chance at reviving his heart," Dorsett said. "The fact that it happened right there so soon increased his chances of survival tenfold. That’s why you see AEDs around in the community and that’s why the Havelock Fire Department is pushing to have AEDs in the community. It’s so vital to have that early defibrillation in these types of instances."

Wayne Lee, another responding paramedic, said the defibrillation is the key.

"Most of the time they don’t survive it. To have him walk out is amazing," he said. "That’s the only way you’re going to make the heart do what it needs to do to get back in rhythm is to defibrillate it. It’s really fortunate that Mrs. Hess was here to be able to use that device and that we could follow up behind here to make sure that he made it up to the hospital."

Herbert Rotchford said he appreciated everyone's effort to save his life.

"By doing CPR, they forced my lungs to breathe and put air into my brain. Fortunately with the shock, the CPR, I’ve survived and I’m fully functional," he said. "I could have been a vegetable, literally. The first time I came back I thanked everybody here, because I literally died and these guys and Mrs. Hess brought me back. I’m thankful for it. I was fortunate."

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