BRUNSWICK HILLS TWP. — A township man attended Tuesday’s trustees meeting to personally thank nine first responders who saved his life and to give a $1,500 donation each to three departments.
Victor Urzycki, 65, experienced cardiac arrest in the early morning hours of May 30.
“I have two words ... thank you,” Urzycki said to the men and woman while attempting to hold back tears. “Thank you is what someone says when you hold the door open, but mine doesn’t have the same meaning.”
“A lot of times we don’t get to see the end result or hear from the patient again,” said township fire/EMS Lt. Mike Perlatti. “He’s very grateful of the time he still has on Earth.”
Perlatti said the 911 call came in at 5:39 a.m. from Urzycki’s wife, Janice, who heard Urzycki collapse on the kitchen floor.
“Mr. Urzycki had no life-sustaining heart rhythm,” Perlatti said. “He was in full cardiac arrest.”
Brunswick dispatcher Keri Quidantano led Janice Urzycki through CPR procedures and stayed on the phone with her until officers arrived.
“I want to personally thank the communications specialist,” Janice Urzycki said. “I don’t know what I would’ve done without your calm voice and your direction that morning.”
Township Officers Ted Makrinos and Ajay Johnson arrived first and continued to perform CPR and used an automated external defibrillator on Urzycki.
“Them following the command is an outstanding thing because that gave us a leg up as far as EMS goes,” Perlatti said. “In our business, time is muscle and (their actions) definitely helps preserve that.”
Township fire/EMS arrived about 5:51 a.m. and administered advanced cardiac support life measures. An additional medical unit from Brunswick was dispatched.
“The more (hands) the merrier when it comes to bringing equipment in the house and to using on the patient,” Perlatti said.
While Urzycki was being transported to Cleveland Clinic in Brunswick, Perlatti said they detected a heartbeat at which time Urzycki gained consciousness and became aggressive with personnel.
“It’s totally normal for that to happen,” Perlatti said, explaining that Urzycki was unaware of his surroundings and what had happened.
“I don’t remember doing that,” Urzycki said with a laugh.
Urzycki said he has had his “ups and downs” during recovery but is feeling “much better.”
“My wife would refer to me as the ‘Energizer Bunny’ ... but after this I decided to retire and make a bucket list and try to check it all off,” he said.
Urzycki presented a $1,500 donation each to the Brunswick Hills Township Firefighter Association, Brunswick Hills Police Department, and Brunswick police and fire departments.
Brunswick Hills fire/EMS Lt. Richard Dalziel said the association will purchase lock boxes for the township to give to residents who wish to put a key in the box and give access to first responders in case of a medical emergency.
“We really appreciate this,” he said.
Besides his wife, Urzycki was accompanied Tuesday evening by his son Steve, stepdaughter Debbie Thornsberry, stepdaughter Denise Tomecko and her husband, Mark, and their 9-year-old twins, Allison and Grant.
“Without you all and your efforts I would not be standing here today and my family would not have me around,” Urzycki said to the first responders. “You gave me another birthday. I can’t say thank you enough.”
Trustees presented resolutions to:
- Brunswick Hills fire/EMS Shawn Barrett;
- Brunswick Hills fire/EMS Mark Vance;
- Brunswick Fire/EMS Lt. Matt Payne;
- Brunswick Fire/EMS Glenn Cunningham;
- Brunswick Fire/EMS Chris Klang.
“We often talk about the ‘chain of survival,’ “ Perlatti said. “For good, positive results, each link has to be a good solid link — from the wife calling (911) … to performing CPR and following AED (procedures). Its one of those situations where all things lined up right and a life was saved due to a good response. It’s a grateful life and he’s very grateful of the time he still has on Earth.”
Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or email@example.com.