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Workers Save Co-Worker From Heart Attack

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - This past January 12th was Gary Gannon`s 57th birthday, and almost his last.

'It was a nice day, went out for a walk for lunch,' remembers Gary Gannon.  'Came back sat down and that was the last thing I remember.'

Levi Sorrill heard his labored breathing.

'I got up and came over this way and walked around and saw him in his chair over here in his head was back and arms to the side and at that point of time I knew that something wasn`t right,' says co-worker Levi  Sorrill.

Gary had gone into cardiac arrest.

'So Dennis and I were both first responders and we've been through first aid training and CPR training so I knew he was the guy I wanted to come with me cause it's not a fun thing to do,' says co-worker Greg Pritchett.  'CPR is scary.'

Their employer, Mitek Industries had provided training for just such a situation.

'The encouraging thing as we were going through it was that every once in awhile he would gasp,' says Dennis Schieffer.  'There would be some intake of air and that was like, okay he's still here so lets keep going with it till the paramedics show up.'

Which they did, but the two continued chest compressions until they could switch out.

'I made a phone call and directed them in when they got here road with Gary and then after the got his heart back started to the hospital rode with him,' says co-worker John Galinski.

This week, John, Levi, Greg and Dennis were honored by the St. Charles city council for their work in saving Gary`s life.

'If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be here,' says Gannon.  'I'm not sure how to say thank you.  There's no way to thank them enough.'

'Another good thing that came from Gary's ordeal is that every Mitek manufacturing facility and engineering office across country is now equipped with one of these, an automated external defibrillator,' says Patrick Clark.

In all, 30 Mitek locations are equipped to handle a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

'The best day it was the first day he walked back into work to be able to shake his hand and see him that's been the biggest reward of all yeah for sure,' says Pritchett.

I guess that old saying is true, to succeed at work you have to surround yourself with quality individuals.

'Typically now when people ask me how I feel, I feel grateful that I'm still here,' says Gannon.

Patrick Clark, News 11.