When a man visiting Phoenix had a heart problem at Sky Harbor International Airport last week, police and fire personnel rushed in to help. On Friday, the traveler thanked the rescuers for saving his life.
Paul Mercurio had just traveled from Pittsburgh to Phoenix for a family wedding when all of a sudden, he started having difficulty breathing.
Two police officers on patrol in Terminal 4 noticed the man in distress. One called for help, the other grabbed an automated external defibrillator.
"I've been through a lot of things, but this was one of the worst time I think I have ever had and I was glad to know that we had such capable people on hand to take care of me when I was at my worst," said Mercurio.
Those two people were Sgt. Robert Griffin and Officer Forrest Conner. They shocked Mercurio with the AED, then started CPR.
Before Mercurio heads back home to Pittsburgh, he and his family wanted to publicly thank the officers and other medical staff for saving his life.
"I was glad you were all there to work with me and to bring me back to life again," said Mercurio.
This is the 34th life that has been saved at Sky Harbor Airport since the AED program started 12 years ago.