The reason I’m here | AspenTimes.com

The reason I’m here

Dear Editor:

I need to thank all the people in this amazing town who helped save my life last Thursday.

I was playing tennis at the Smuggler Racquet Club when I died of sudden cardiac arrest (an electrical problem). My hero, the amazing John Phillips, gave me immediate and effective CPR assisted by the always incredible Klaus Obermeyer, the lovely and talented Kati Wabiszewski, and wily left-hander Tom Ledy, who I was playing, and who was killing me anyway.

Terry Leitch and Dave Paschal were the first responders from the Aspen Police Department and took over and administered effective CPR as well. Thanks, guys, Aspen’s finest! The ambulance crew paddled me in the ambulance and restarted my heart. They delivered me to the AVH crew – Joe High, Dr. Balko and Dr. Gerson – who did everything needed to further my survival. I was packed in ice and flown to Denver.

I need to thank the Flight For Life crew and Colorado University Hospital, where they delivered me. I received excellent care, and they determined the reason for my collapse in Denver. Dr. Sauer installed my pacemaker/defibrillator and with constant consultation with Gordon Gerson, got me going again. I was home within five days!

Other than my normal level of brain damage, I am totally fine, which is rare. It is a tribute to this town that we have so many people who care, and the skill of all to save a life. I got to see my family again only because of their speed and concern. This was an unlikely outcome in an event, and only here did I have the chance to be whole again.

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Thanks also to my neighbors who took care of the kids, Tye and Shelby (thanks for their patience with me as well), and our dog, Beau Jo, and to my beautiful wife Cindy, who sacrificed her class reunion in Vermont to come back and help. Thanks to all my friends, the teachers and anyone else I didn’t know who was involved, and those who have called to express concern and offered to help.

I am grateful for every second I get from here. Thank you, Aspen, a great place to die, a better place to live!

Ed Zasacky

Aspen