On June 19, 2018, Vincent Russo had a heart attack and died. Today, Thursday, January 7, he is celebrating his 80th birthday.
No, you didn’t read that wrong. Verona’s fast-acting first responders gave Vincent Russo a second chance at life.
Two and a half years ago, Russo collapsed outside his home after mowing his lawn. His grandson Dominick Russo witnessed it and called 911. Joe Clark, a neighbor who is also an EMT on the Verona Rescue Squad, heard shouting, ran over and immediately started CPR. Verona Police Office Justin Nielsen also lived nearby and ran over to assist. Ricky Tempesta, then chief of the Rescue Squad, responded, as did Police Officer Steve Young, and they administered the defibrillator. “They were all there in seconds and the second shock brought him back,” Phyllisann Russo says of her father.
Vincent Russo had a triple-bypass surgery after the episode and, other than achy knees, is doing fine now, says his daughter, who still marvels at what the first responders did on that summer day. “This might be normal for them,” she says, “but for us it was a miracle.”