By: Tom Duggan – July, 2015
Methuen resident Christine Prescott went to the Methuen police station last month to thank the officer who saved her life when her heart stopped while working out at a local fitness center.
“I had just finished my 45 minute spinning class at the gym,” Prescott told The Valley Patriot. “I walked out of the room and my heart just stopped.”
“I had fallen face first into a 500 pound chest press machine, resulting in a serious injury to my face. The staff at the gym attempted CPR for nearly five minutes until the police and EMTs showed up. I was dead at that point, when Officer Thomas Torrisi arrived. I was blue, and the staff had feared the worst. He administered two shocks from his department issued automated external defibrillator (AED). By the time he administered 2 shocks, the EMTs had just arrived and I was conscious and barely breathing. He saved my life.”
Methuen Police Chief Joe Solomon said that Torrisi was given a commendation for his actions in saving Prescott’s life. “Officer Torrisi immediately went into action,” Solomon said. “Utilizing his AED, which advised a shock to the patient, Officer Torrisi administered a shock. After approximately 5 minutes, the female started to cough and breathe on her own. She was subsequently transported to the hospital and has made a full recovery. In recognition of Officer Torrisi’s effective use of the AED under difficult circumstances, we honor his immediate call to action, courage and life-saving skills. Officer Torrisi’s outstanding performance of duty has reflected great credit upon himself and the Department.
Prescott and her 8 year old son wanted to thank Officer Torrisi for saving her life and went to the Methuen Police Station to meet him. “Two heart surgeries later and an implanted defibrillator inside my chest, I am alive, thanks to the Methuen Police and Officer Torrisi.”