LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) — It’s been three months since Scott Gillispie suffered a major cardiac arrest. Wednesday he wanted to extend his gratitude to the first responders who got him through a major cardiac arrest on Dec. 16, 2022.
“This is my rebirth, 16 weeks since these men saved my life,” said Gillispie.
He doesn’t remember anything about that day, but he will never forget the people who saved his life.
“20 minutes into the class, I started coughing, sinus drainage and then I choked, shut off the oxygen to my brain, my heart stopped. I grab the bicycle they said and fell over to my right. They said I fell over and started turning blue, they had to pry my hands off,” said Gillispie.
An ICU nurse and a doctor were also in the class and jumped in to help. Shortly after, the Longview Fire Department 6 quickly answered the call.
“When we got there, they were doing chest compressions… we made them stop and did our own assessment and started administering our care,” said Willis Kornman, Longview Firefighter/Paramedic.
Longview Fire Department was not far away from Crunch Fitness where Gillispie was exercising.
“He’s super lucky that he’s not 30, 40 minutes away like some rural counties and he was only four minutes away and he was able to get definitive really really quickly,” said Kornman.
Oxygen to Gillispie’s brain was cut off for 18 minutes, miraculously he was left with no brain damage.
“What I have learned is after nine minutes you become brain dead and so the word miracle is where 90% of people don’t have anyone that can help save them with CPR,” said Gillispie.
“I won at the game of life,” said Gillispie.
Kornman said this was a rare situation.
“This almost never happens, like what Mr. Gillespie said, he is the 1% out of this outcome. Unfortunately, even though we give the same level of care to anyone, not everyone is able to make it like he is. Especially just seeing him standing and talking is a miracle in and of itself,” said Kornman.
Gillispie believes he wouldn’t be living if it wasn’t for God, and the people he calls his earthly, “guardian angels.”
“I hope I can reach out to somebody, even if it’s just giving someone a handshake or a hug and say ‘stop feeling negative you’re alive,’” said Gillispie.
Gillispie met with the two women in the spin class who acted quickly. He hopes to get well enough soon to make it back on the bike, but he will take it one day at a time.