A heart emergency at Utica's Heart Run and Walk

An EMT participating in Utica's Heart Run & Walk was a lifesaver as another participant had an apparent heart attack

A 66-year-old man who was part of Utica's Heart Run and Walk got life-saving help after he collapsed on Saturday, and the help came from a group that says they were just 'paying it forward.'

Michael Wofford, from Glenfield, in Lewis County, a client of the ARC, was walking at the Saturday event when he collapsed in New Hartford.

'Team Ben,' about 200 people associated with Utica Gastroenterologist Dr. Bradley Sklar, was right near him when he fell, at the Burrstone Road and Washington Drive intersection.

Courtney Daviau, RN, who works with Dr. Sklar, was the first to reach him. She tells us they thought he had a seizure, but then Wofford started turning blue and had no pulse. She cleared his mouth with her scarf and began giving him mouth to mouth, without a protective mask. Dr. Sklar began doing CPR.

Both, along with other nurses and medical people on the team, are certified in advanced life support, and Dr. Sklar says that getting the help almost instantly may have saved Wofford's life, and perhaps saved him from brain damage.

State Troopers Adam Ferstand and Daniel Krajewski were nearby on traffic control duties, and got an AED from their patrol car. Wofford was shocked twice before he was revived, and Daviau says they 'lost' him again as he was being put into the ambulance. By last night, she says, he was well enough to eat.

Dr. Sklar got involved with the Heart Association when his son Ben was born with a heart problem, and had open heart surgery in Syracuse at two days old. He says his son (now a high school senior) would have died without that help, and now the team he's been organizing to walk has paid it back, 18 years later, by saving another life.

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