CORPUS CHRISTI - Bill Gregorcyk said four things saved his life - God, medics, hospital staff and a defibrillator.
Three years ago, Gregorcyk was driving home from Houston after a business trip. He doesn't remember the drive or even making it to his house, but he does remember not feeling well. He took some aspirin, called 911 and laid on the floor.
Gregorcyk went into cardiac arrest.
When medics arrived Gregorcyk had no pulse. They started CPR and then tried a portable defibrillator. On the second try, Gregorcyk had a heartbeat.
"I have no idea how long it took, but I owe them my life," he said.
On Monday, Christus Spohn Hospital donated a check for nearly $140,000 to the Corpus Christi Fire Department to purchase five defibrillators.
"Gregorcyk's life was saved by a defibrillator," said Paul Gaden, the hospital's chief operating officer.
With the addition of five defibrillators, each of the department's nine ambulances will now have one, fire chief Richard Rocha said.
He said the department had five defibrillators and other machines that provide electric shock. But the difference with the defibrillator is that it electronically sends the report to the hospital before the patient arrives so doctors can determine if they need to go to the emergency room.
"When someone doesn't get oxygen from their heart to their brain it causes damage," he said, "so every second counts."
According to the American Heart Association, survival rate increases as much as 45 percent when a defibrillator is applied within five to seven minutes of the cardiac arrest.
Medics, who arrived within that time frame, changed Gregorcyk's outcome.
He was taken to an area hospital where he fell into a coma for nearly six days. He came out of the coma, was placed in intensive care and then did rehabilitation in San Antonio.
Gregorcyk said the medics and doctors helped him that night, but for 13 months his wife helped him recover.
"My recovery is a result of my wife's care," he said.
Gregorcyk later went in search of the medic that responded to his call to thank him.
"He saved my life."