LONGVIEW, Texas — It’s not often patients get to meet the paramedic crew who save their lives, but a man from Longview did.
Sixteen seems to be a number that sticks with cardiac arrest survivor, Scott Gillispie. Sixteen weeks ago, he was healthy as can be riding a stationary bike 20 miles under an hour at the gym.
"We don’t play in the classes, we come to do work," Gillispie said.
Gillispie's life changed forever when he suffered a cardiac arrest on November 16th. He said he doesn't remember waking up, booking the class, walking his dog, or cooking breakfast.
"20 minutes into the class, I started coughing, I choked, (had) sinus drained. Shut off the oxygen to my brain (and) heart stopped," Gillispie said.
Immediately, gym members performed life-saving measures until paramedics arrived. At the hospital, doctors told his wife he could have memory loss.
"I looked at her and told her, 'baby what happened to me?' She knew right then that I knew who she was and that was the best gift you could ever give someone you’ve been with for 30 years," Gillispie said.
Sixteen weeks later, a special reunion was planned between Gillispie and his guardian angels.
"We finally get to meet the men who saved my life. Today is week sixteen since my rebirth. Let’s go have fun," Gillispie said.
Gillispie waited sixteen weeks, for this special moment.
"Man, all I can say is thank y’all," Gillispie said.
This reunion was special for the men who saved him as well.
"I mean I think we all had the same reaction, this is really, really cool, we don’t get to do this," said Longview firefighter paramedic Willis Korman.
A special reunion that the paramedics and Gillispie will never forget.
"I’ve won the game of life," Gillispie said. "If I can encourage someone who’s had a bad day, and wanting to give up on life, to be strong and just keep living and know that we all win, we all win the game of life."
Gillispie said he’s ready to get back to the gym, but until then, he’s going to appreciate every minute of his second chance at life.