Earlier this year, John Claydon went into cardiac arrest at a University of Connecticut (UConn) football game in Rentschler Field and nearly lost his life.
On Monday, he was able to meet the East Hartford EMT and paramedics that brought him back to life at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford, the same hospital where he spent five days recovering after first responders spent about an hour trying to resuscitate him.
"If it wasn’t for the actions of these professionals who are here with us tonight I wouldn’t be standing here," Claydon said.
On August 31, the 68-year-old man and a friend were at Rentschler Field watching UConn play its season opener football game against the Holy Cross Crusaders.
Not long after arriving, Claydon told his friend he wasn’t feeling well and what he didn’t know is he was going into cardiac arrest.
While the 68-year-old doesn’t remember anything after that, witnesses said he collapsed and several UConn students stepped in to perform CPR as first responders arrived and took over.
"We continued compressions and a resuscitation effort," paramedic, Scott Woods, who was one of the first first responders to arrive, said. "The rest of the team members established IV access, gave him medications, continued breathing for him and continued CPR and defibrillations as needed for an extended period of time. It was not an immediate response that he came back right away, but you have to stick with it."
Finally, they were able to bring him back.
Claydon was taken to Saint Francis Hospital, where he recovered for five days. He was implanted with a defibrillator which stabilized his heart rhythm.
"Without them, people like me wouldn’t be getting to the hospital. And I only want to say I am so grateful. It’s had to think of words to say thank you to people who have saved your life," Claydon said.
It’s unclear who those UConn students were who gave CPR, but paramedics said they, too, played a vital role in saving this man’s life.