Michael Gibson of Ronkonkoma was coaching at an indoor sports facility in Port Jefferson last February when “everything just went dark”.

Mr. Gibson suffered cardiac arrest. “I was clinically dead”, he told reporters and first responders at a recent press conference at South Shore University Hospital (SSUH) in Bay Shore. Fortunately, there were three people nearby who knew how to perform CPR. They called 911 and kept him alive until Suffolk County Police Officer Kyle Nilsen arrived with an AED (automated external defibrillator) and was able to shock his heart back to beating. Paramedics from the Terryville Fire Department arrived and continued life-saving measures while transporting him to Mather Hospital.

Mr. Gibson was diagnosed with severe coronary artery disease in the Emergency Department by Drs. Kenneth Hirsch and Giridhar Korlipara and treated with medication. He was brought up to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab where he underwent an angioplasty. He was then transferred to SSUH where Dr. Harold Fernandez performed a quadruple bypass.

Mr. Gibson received physical therapy at home following surgery and said he is back to walking and riding his bicycle. At an emotional press conference, he thanked those who came to his aid, including the first responders and doctors at Mather and SSUH, for saving his life. He and doctors at the press conference stressed the importance of people learning CPR.