It isn’t often that you stop breathing for a minute, get revived and then get to meet — and thank — the people who helped save your life. But that happened Monday to Robert Law, 29, of Southeast Washington.
In a ceremony at Engine 25 station on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, with several of his family members nearby, Law thanked the team of D.C. Fire and EMS personnel who responded to a call for help at his home and saved him on Nov. 9. He credited the rescuers with reviving him after he suffered a severe asthma attack and blacked out.
Doug Buchanan, a spokesman for the D.C. Fire and EMS, said in an email that Law was “actually without a pulse for nearly a minute.” He was face down at a table in his apartment when rescuers arrived.
Law recalled the incident on Tuesday, saying he awoke that morning feeling groggy and bad. He’s had severe asthma since he was a toddler. Even after getting on a breathing machine that day for about 20 minutes, he said, he “couldn’t catch his breath” and asked his sister to call 911.
She did. But before the crews arrived, he passed out, Law recalled. The responding team from D.C. Fire and EMS revived him through CPR and medications, authorities said.
Buchanan said Law went from “technically dead . . . to being alive.”
Law was taken to a hospital where he spent three days.
Of meeting some of those who saved him, on Monday, he said, “That was my chance to thank them and give my gratitude.”
“They went above and beyond,” Law said. “That really touched me.”
Law said he has been seen by his regular doctor and is doing fine following the incident. He was told by his doctor that the incident may have been triggered by being exposed to carbon monoxide. But he said he is not sure how he came into contact with the poisonous gas and has since had his home tested.
He presented some of the rescuers who helped him with a special coin at the ceremony. Doing that, Law said, was an honor.
“It was breathtaking,” he said, of getting to meet some of the rescuers. “I hadn’t seen them since that day. I was just grateful to be alive and talking and walking.”
“They transport people but they don’t always know the outcome of the situation,” Law said. “And I was able to wake up.
“I am grateful and humble.”