GRAFTON — Gerry Fowle is an avid runner and consistently finishes in the top of his age group in races around Northeast Ohio. On July, Fowle was running down Cowley Road in Grafton Township when his heart went into shock.
“About three miles out, I felt like I was going to pass out, and I said, ‘Well, I need to get out of the road,” Fowle remembered.
Fowle didn’t make it very far before he hit the ground and was unconscious. Thankfully, Michelle Dostall and her fiancé Paul Signorelli stopped to help him—their efforts were recorded by a law enforcement dash camera.
“If it wasn’t for those people, I wouldn’t be here today, so I owe them everything,” Fowle said.
Fowle and his wife Beverly honored first responders who helped save his life that summer day.
“I just remember running as fast as I could and I could tell Gerry wasn’t breathing so I immediately started CPR,” Dostall, a nursing student remembered. Within a few minutes Sgt. Tim Hoffman with the State Highway Patrol pulled up to help.
“I went right to the trunk and grabbed the AED and went up to him and opened the AED and followed the instructions on it,” Hoffman said.
Paramedics rushed Fowle to the hospital. Meanwhile, Fowle’s wife, Beverly, was trying to find where her husband was and what happened to him. Fowle did not have his ID on him during his run, so first responders didn’t know his name.
“I’m sobbing, I don’t know what to do, you know, everything just comes back like it was that exact same day … it still is raw, and I can still feel it,” Beverly said.
Fowle was in a coma for several days as medical staff kept his body temperature low so that his organs wouldn’t have to work unnecessarily. Six months later, Gerry has made a full recovery and honored Sgt. Hoffman, Dostall and Signorelli during a ceremony at the hospital where we was treated.
“In order to survive, the circumstances had to be right, and the circumstances were right that day,” Fowle said. “I did not know there was such a caring band of people that live around us and we have remained friends,” Beverly said.
The Fowles have bonded with Dostall and Signorelli over a common interest in horses and with Sgt. Hoffman over a mutual love for running.