Bloomington man grateful for lifesaving first responders after cardiac arrest

Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 10:37 PM CST
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BLOOMINGTON (25 News Now) - Christine Hornsby of Bloomington was told her husband would need to be in assisted living if he even survived a cardiac arrest.

Today, he’s alive and well, now thanking the first responders who helped.

After 50 minutes of CPR and 15 shocks to his heart, Aaron Hornsby’s recovery is being called a miracle.

Monday, he thanked dispatch and the Bloomington Fire Department as he says they’re his heroes.

“I’m so grateful just to have the opportunity to say thank you to these guys,” said Hornsby, who is 53 and a McLean County assistant state’s attorney.

On Nov. 7, Hornsby went into cardiac arrest. His wife called 911 and was told to begin CPR.

“It was maybe a minute from the time he collapsed to the time I started compressions,” Christine Hornsby said.

After he was taken to the hospital, Christine was told her husband may not survive. If he did, she was told he would live with health problems and need 24-hour care.

“I was prepared for identifying a body,” she said.

After four hours of surgery, Aaron Hornsby was sedated on an ice bath. He then surprised doctors and nurses after he woke up two days later.

“They couldn’t believe how much motion and mobility and function he had,” continued Christine. “It truly is a miracle that he is back to normal.”

Aaron Hornsby learned two blocked arteries to his heart caused the cardiac arrest. He was able to go home after eight days in the hospital.

His family credits his survival to prayers, miracles and the help from first responders.

“Starting from dispatch, going all the way down to our response and taking over the scene was fluent, quick and professional,” said firefighter and paramedic Adam Johnson.

Johnson was the lead paramedic that day. He says their equipment and training helped lead to the miracle outcome.

While Johnson appreciated the recognition, he says they’re just doing their job.

“We are taught every month how to do these lifesaving skills. Our education is always top notch,” said Johnson.

Hornsby finished cardiac rehab in late January. He was able to get back to work last week. He wants people to be aware of signs and what to do if someone’s heart stops beating.

“Every minute that passes, 10% is lost on the ability to survive a cardiac arrest so it’s really important to get CPR started,” he said.

For resources on how to become CPR certified, visit the American Heart Assocation. Carle also hosts CPR certification courses.