While most people suffering from cardiac arrest die before getting to the hospital, one Sammamish father is alive because a team of first responders would not give up on him.
Abhi Abhishek's heart suddenly stopped beating one night in November. He had no history of heart problems. His wife, Piali Choudhury, called 911.
The dispatcher walked her through CPR until firefighters and paramedics arrived at their home.
In the 911 call, you can hear the panic in Choudhury’s voice:
Dispatcher: Is his chest going up and down?
Dispatcher: Then we need to start CPR, okay?
Choudhury: How do I do CPR? I don’t know how.
Dispatcher: I can help you with that, okay?
Firefighters and paramedics worked together, continuing CPR and administering shocks from a defibrillator. After nearly 45 minutes, they were able to get a pulse and rushed Abhishek to the hospital.
Abhishek, 41, stayed unconscious for seven days and then woke up. On Wednesday, he and his family, reunited with the people who saved his life.
"This is a tremendous feeling for me. I was unconscious through the whole ordeal, and to find these people and see their faces is so gratifying. I feel so lucky and fortunate to be meeting these people. They saved me," Abhishek said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 to 90 percent of people with cardiac arrest die before they even reach the hospital.
But because the dispatcher was able to recognize Abhishek's crisis as cardiac arrest, she was able to coach his wife through CPR.
“No matter what happens, I have to meet the first responder, the 911 operator, because I have to thank her,” Choudhury said before the reunion.
Nicole Benson was the dispatcher on the call.
"It's an amazing feeling. This is the first time I've met someone I've helped save," she told KIRO 7.
Abhishek is the father of two boys, 13 and 17 years old. His family says he's the love of their lives.
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