‘I love my wife so much — I can’t leave her’: 91-year-old celebrates birthday thanks to paramedics
An elderly New Jersey man was able to have his birthday dinner at his favorite restaurant thanks to three paramedics who saved his life.
Joseph Leifkin, 91, woke up on his big day dripping with sweat. “I said to my wife, ‘I think I’m in trouble,'” he told WABC.
His wife Marjorie called 911 and paramedics were as concerned as Joseph was.
“I didn’t even have the chance to introduce myself and he said ‘Don’t let me die, don’t let me die,'” said Kevin Duffy, St. Clare’s Paramedic.
Joseph told the first responders that he couldn’t die because it would mean leaving his wife and he simply couldn’t let that happen. “I said, ‘I love my wife so much and she loves me. I can’t leave her,'” he told them.
He knew it was bad, telling WABC that he thought he was going to “check out.”
“He did reach out and say, ‘I’m not ready, I don’t want to go, the only thing I want to do is go to Ruth Chris with my wife and have a dinner on my birthday,” said Sarah Crelin, St. Clare’s Paramedic.
That’s when Joseph died. His heart stopped beating in the ambulance and he stopped breathing for 10 minutes. They did chest compressions and forced air into his lungs and he ultimately came back from the dead.
The four met again this week at the hospital where Joseph could tell them a “thank you” in person.
“Are those my saviors? God, I love you! I love you so much, you made me have another life,” Joseph told the paramedics. “Thanks to you, I’m still here. If it wasn’t for you guys, I wouldn’t be here.”
Paramedic Corrine Flammer said that knowing the couple got another dinner together was enough. “You know, a lot of us would love to have our dads back for a holiday, so we are glad his family has him,” she said.
See the full report below: