When New York police officer Kevin Zuchlewski wanted to express his gratitude to the coworkers who saved his life with an AED, he didn’t just thank them.
On June 16, Zuchlewski returned to the locker room after exercising in the police department gym, only to collapse on the floor.
Fortunately, a fellow officer, Ryan Taber, heard labored breathing and went to investigate. That’s when he found Zuchlewski and called for help.
Taber and two other officers immediately sprang into action by administering chest compressions and hooking Zuchlewski up to an AED.
When paramedics finally arrived, they took the fallen officer to a local hospital where he underwent a quintuple bypass surgery.
Zuchlewski made and is still making a great recovery, but he knew that he owed his fellow officers a huge debt of gratitude. So last week, he got everyone together to recognize the men who’d saved his life.
"I didn't want any of this to be about me. All I did was stop breathing," he said. "God has a plan for me, and I'm just glad that my brothers — who I work with every day — are part of that plan.”
Once again, quick thinking and access to an AED saves a life.