PARKER, Colo. (CBS4)– A firefighter in Parker is back to work six months after he suffered a major heart attack on the job and nearly died.
Nick Gravina is just 41 years old. His heart had to be restarted more than a dozen times.
When asked how he feels, Gravina answered, “Lucky.”
Gravina is not only physically fit, he once won the World Firefighter Combat Challenge.
It was May 14 when he easily passed the Parker Fire Department’s physical fitness test but later felt a stabbing pain in his chest.
“I really honestly just thought it was indigestion,” said Gravina.
When the pain did not subside, he had a colleague monitor his heart.
“Within seconds it was like, ‘Yeah, you need to go to the hospital. Something’s not right,'” said Gravina.
Gravina was rushed to Parker Adventist Hospital. His heart was restarted a total of 18 times before doctors could remove a clot.
“They weren’t giving up and thank God they didn’t,” said Gravina.
Gravina is a husband and father of two. He remains forever grateful.
“I’m thankful to be able to support my wife and kids, to watch them grow up,” said Gravina.
Gravina didn’t wake up until two days after he collapsed. He spent a week in the hospital and six months recovering.
Gravina said knowing the signs of a heart attack and CPR saved his life. He recommends everyone have the same knowledge in case they are in a similar situation.