The Terryville Fire Department and two of its paramedics were honored by Mather Hospital for their role in saving the life of a Port Jefferson Station man.

Paramedics Stephen Loizos and Frank Abbate responded to a 911 call on January 20, 2022 for Philip Vecchio, 49, who had complained about indigestion. Mr. Vecchio, who suffers from high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol was having chest discomfort when the paramedics arrived. An EKG performed at his home found that he was suffering a serious heart attack due to a blocked artery. To expedite Mr. Vecchio’s care, the EKG was transmitted to the Mather Hospital Emergency Department and activated all care teams prior to their arrival.

Mr. Vecchio was assessed in the Emergency Department and then brought to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, where Mather interventional cardiologist Tien Nguyen, MD, inserted a stent to open the blocked artery. The patient developed ventricular fibrillation following the procedure and was sent to the ICU to recover. In the ICU, Mr. Vecchio suffered cardiac arrest and CPR was successfully applied. An Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump (IABP) was placed that evening to help with blood flow. Mr. Vecchio was then transferred to South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore for management of the IABP and was later discharged.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for these guys,” said Mr. Vecchio, adding that he was incredibly grateful and thankful and called his experience at Mather Hospital “amazing”. He credited the paramedics with explaining everything to him in a way he could understand and said he felt confident in the care he received.

“Mr. Vecchio is a very fortunate and blessed man,” said Dr. Nguyen. “The concerted and prompt efforts of the Terryville Fire Department EMTs, the Mather Emergency Department, Cath Lab team and ICU staff on that daunting day averted a potentially disastrous outcome and facilitated his speedy recovery. It gives me great pleasure to see that he is doing so well, and it is an honor to be a member of this tremendous team serving this wonderful community.”