Emergency Crews Get Chance to Meet the People They Saved

Andrene Bowes doesn’t remember much about the day she nearly died on a train barreling into Bowling Green station. 

She was taking her 4-year-old son, Pharaoh, to summer camp last July 15 when she passed out.

A few hours later, she woke up in a hospital bed. Her doctor said the 34-year-old went into cardiac arrest and could have died, were it not for the first responders who resuscitated her and rushed her to the hospital.

She never saw the five firefighters, two emergency medical technicians, two paramedics and three cops who gave the young mom her heartbeat back.

The firefighters began emergency compressions. When the EMTs and paramedics arrived, they shocked her five times with a portable defibrillator, regaining her pulse. They also drilled into her bones to administer a lifesaving medication before rushing her to New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

All the while, the cops were taking care of little Pharaoh, who stood nearby in a near-panic, but was still able to give paramedics vital information.

Now fully recovered, Bowes could pass these lifesavers on the street without recognizing them — until now.

On Wednesday, she will be able to meet the men and women who saved her life at a Second Chance Brunch sponsored by the FDNY.

Gathering at the Liberty Warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn, for the 23rd annual event, Bowes and 10 others who suffered near-fatal cardiac arrests over the past year will meet the paramedics, EMTs and firefighters who helped save their lives.

“I’m very excited to see them,” Bowes said about the gathering. “I don’t remember much about that day, but I know that I’m grateful. They gave me a second chance.”

Pharaoh, now 5, is also excited to see the lifesavers who gave him more time with his mother.

“He says he wants to be a doctor and save lives because he told me he saved my life,” Bowes joked.

EMT Anne Li of Emergency Medical Service Station 4 on the Lower East Side, one of the first responders that brought Bowes from the brink, said she’s also looking forward to the reunion.

“It’s always great to see the progress, someone who suffered cardiac arrest, up and walking again,” the four-year EMS veteran said. “I wasn’t expecting any of this. It’s refreshing. We don’t really get that kind of recognition.”

For heart attack survivor Ashley Newman, Wednesday will be a double reunion of sorts — the contemporary dancer will be meeting 10 first responders for the first time and celebrating with her fellow dancers from the Brooklyn-based Chase Brock Experience who began CPR on her when she passed out in her Lower East Side studio on May 5, 2016.

She will also meet the angel on the other end of the phone — FDNY dispatcher Juan Llano, who instructed her fellow dancers how to perform CPR on Newman before help arrived.

“The people dancing with me were the first line of defense. They were determined to bring me back,” Newman, 34, said. “The first responders and the professionals, they were the second wave. Both of them did such a good job. They’re the reason why I’m totally OK today.”

Paramedic Juan Cortes of Station 4 said Newman’s fellow dancers made a big difference in her survival.

“I think it made a big difference,” Cortes said. “If her partners hadn’t been performing CPR, her chances wouldn’t have been as great. It sounds cliche, but the teamwork was fantastic. We all came together to give her the best care possible.”

“We’re all excited to meet (Newman) and spend a few moments with her,” Cortes said.

Source: New York Daily News | Thomas Tracy