Off-Duty Mass. Responder Saves Man Watching Bruins
While attending the Boston Bruins practice off-duty Thursday at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Gardner, along with a few other bystanders, saved a young man in the stands who had collapsed and stopped breathing after suffering an apparent heart attack.
"A few of my buddies and I went to see the Bruins practice and shortly after we got there we heard someone to our left yell out for someone to call 911," Gardner said. "So I stood up to see what was going on and walked over to the area."
Gardner, 25, of Harvard, who also works as a part-time firefighter and EMT for the Littleton Fire Department, said at first it appeared the young man was having a seizure but after learning there was no history of seizures in his family, they then realized he was suffering from an apparent cardiac episode.
Gardner began CPR, eventually using a portable defibrillator to shock the man. When the man was transported from the rink, it was reported he was in a semi-conscious state.
Joined by an off-duty police officer from Wilmington Police, Gardner said it was surreal at the time to look around and see everyone watching them.
"It all happened so quickly," he said. "I remember walking over and performing compressions and the next thing I remember when I was relieved of my duties was looking around and seeing all eyes on us."
The strangest part, Gardner said, was how the Bruins were watching them too.
"It was a role reversal," he said. "It's weird having the Bruins watch you because you usually go to the games to watch the Bruins. It was cool."
In a Friday afternoon statement, the Concord Police said it is immediately apparent that the quick actions taken by Gardner most likely saved the man's life.
"Terry's actions were not only a credit to himself but also to the Concord Police Department," the statement said.
Gardner said he hasn't heard from the man or his family but wanted them to know that his prayers are with them.
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