LORAIN – While his body is still recovering, Gerald Ellis, says his heart is full of gratitude for two Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers that helped save his life last week.
On Friday, Ellis was able to reunite with the troopers outside of Mercy Health Lorain Hospital, even though he doesn’t remember the first time they met.
“I don’t remember a thing,” Ellis said. “I have no clue. The last memory I have is Sunday.”
On August 19, Ellis was driving a truck on the Ohio Turnpike in Elyria when he suffered a heart attack.
Trooper Chris Kaczmarsky was also on the turnpike at the same time going to court. He says he remembers seeing a cloud of dust.
“I see a truck not a semi, but a bigger box truck coming on the left shoulder bouncing up and down with a cloud of dust behind it, and I am like this is not good,” Kaczmarsky told FOX 8.
He said the truck was driving very slow and hitting a concrete barrier. He said he couldn’t see anyone behind the wheel.
Kaczmarsky and Trooper Eddie Lopez parked their cruisers and ran to the truck. They found Ellis unconscious and not breathing.
“His skin color was pretty grey, he wasn’t breathing and no pulse ,” Lopez said.
Dash camera video shows Lopez as he starts chest compressions. Minutes later, Kaczmarksy got an AED.
The two troopers worked together and soon Ellis was breathing again.
Seconds later, the ambulance arrived and Lopez told Ellis to “hang in there, keep fighting.”
And Ellis continued to fight for his life, and won. He is still recovering at the hospital but is hoping to go home soon.
Sgt. Ryan Purpura, of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, says the troopers did an excellent job. Ellis says the two are his heroes.
But Lopez and Kaczmarsky say they are just happy they were able to help.
“I am so glad he is better,” Lopez said. “To see him breathing again, to see his chest moving up and down again, it was a miracle.”
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