Long Island man reunited with doctor, officers who saved his life at airport
It was back on Tuesday, April 26, and Williams, 54, from Holbrook, was about to board a plane on his way back to MacArthur Airport from Orlando.
“It just got a little fuzzy, and I don’t remember falling or losing consciousness,” Williams said.
However, two MTA officers certainly remember Jason Papa and David Bergstein, who didn’t even know they were on the same flight, plus doctor Jason Kreiner, an anesthesiologist from NYU Langone. Each of them was returning with their families from Disneyworld – but the real magic was what would happen at the airport.
“I heard the thud, and my wife was like ‘Jason, someone just collapsed’,” said Officer Papa, “There was no pulse, so I started CPR, and as I’m in compression, I hear above me, ‘Jay, when you need a break, let me know.”
It was Papa’s friend, Sgt. Bergstein – and what’s even crazier – none of these men were even supposed to be on Williams’ flight.
“He had told me that, and it gave me chills,” Williams said.
In fact, the officer had just finished his cardiac training two weeks before. Then entered Dr. Kreiner.
“I was able to continue the compressions while they applied the pads to prepare to defibrillate him,” said Dr. Kreiner.
They say it was after that first shock that Williams came to. He was able to ask questions about what happened and was also able to get Officer Papa’s phone number scrawled on a piece of paper from the cardiac monitor printout.
Williams would spend several days in the hospital. He still needs a follow-up aortic valve replacement. He had been awaiting one, and his doctors believe that stress and the flu triggered his cardiac arrest. Either way, not even Disney compares to the emotional ride from all of this.
“I’m just going to try to be the best person I can because it’s all bonus time for me,” said Williams.
Williams turns 55 in June – thanks to them – and probably, thanks to fate.
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