BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — A man was clinically dead and brought back to life at a Bakersfield Condors game earlier this month. He was revived by Pro Safety and Rescue EMTs of the Mechanic Bank Arena.
On Jan. 18 Richard and Corinne Martinez of Los Osos, Calif. say they were in town for a celebration of life for a family member.
Afterward, the couple decided to head to a Condors game.
Sadly the Martinez’s never got a chance to attend the game, because Richard suffered a heart attack outside the arena.
"It was a bad experience, but I couldn’t have been in the hands of anyone better," Richard said. "I think it was just meant to be."
Richard shares he had a heart attack 20-years-ago and bypass surgery, but adds this was a different experience.
"A part of living is dying and you just don’t know when it's your time," said Richard. "I think I fought against it to keep from it [dying].
During the beginning of feeling ill, Richard did not realize he was going into cardiac arrest but remembers thinking he had so much to live for.
"It was just dark and warm," Richard explains before going under. "Soon I felt like I was drifting asleep and I finally felt comfortable and went to sleep. It was a very unusual experience."
According to the American Heart Association, 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital each year. In the U.S. about 90 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die.
"I just remember them saying we are losing him and they just seemed so focused on him," Martinez said. "I could see they were doing everything they could for him."
Christopher Ramirez is one of the four EMTs of the Pro Safety and Rescue EMTs of Mechanics Bank arena, to respond to Martinez.
Ramirez says Martinez clinically died for about 90 seconds. The Pro Safety and Rescue EMT, says being able to reunite with the Martinez was an unforgettable moment.
"Again me meeting up with them to shake their hand, give them hug and take a picture, we in EMS is something we don’t get to do," said Ramirez.
"We take our patients we sustain them, maintain them and take them to another place. And being able to follow up them is a luxury we don’t usually have."
The Martinez family says they were able to personally thank the EMTs when the group came and visit them in the hospital.
The EMTs shared with Martinez's how rare it is for someone to have a cardiac arrest and being discharged in just five days, as he was.
Now two groups that were once strangers, will forever share a special bond.
"It all has been emotional," Richard said. "The young men came in to see me and brought me a gift basket. I thought I should be giving you guys everything."
The Martinez’s says they have three sons. Now, they are grateful to say they consider the four EMTs, as their new adoptive family.