A New Jersey man who went into cardiac arrest five times in a D.C. ambulance last April reunited Wednesday with the firefighters and paramedics who saved his life.
Elliott Penner had the chance to thank the people who brought him back to life, shaking their hands and hugging them.
“I’m here today because of what you guys do,” he said.
Penner was in town on Apr. 15 with his son, Brayden, for a Capitals game. But as they arrived at Union Station, Penner started to feel the symptoms of cardiac arrest, including shortness of breath.
“I remember thinking: We gotta get to a hospital,” Penner said.
The two thought that they had time to take cab but they didn’t. Fortunately, an ambulance was already at the station, called in before for a sick woman.
Once Penner told them what he was feeling, paramedics realized that he was showing the signs of a heart attack and hooked him into the monitoring equipment in the ambulance.
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Penner went into cardiac arrest five times in the ambulance.
“We would shock him and he would come back and he would talk. He would go back into cardiac arrest. We would shock him again, he’d come back and talk,” said Christian Meuller, one of the D.C. Fire and Emergency Services paramedics who helped Penner.
For the five times, paramedics brought him back to life, shocking him 18 times. The crew was able to take Penner to the hospital, saving him.
“As soon as somebody stabilizes it’s like a breath of fresh air,” said Nick Ragucci, another paramedic who saved Penner.
Since April, the crew that saved Penner received recognition and honor medallions.
Penner remains thankful to the crew.
“I think what you do is pretty amazing,” Penner told them.