• Paramedic saves a life for the second time on her birthday


    PLYMOUTH, Mass. - Most people would take the day off on their birthday, but not Erika Apicella.

    Apicella, a Brewster Ambulance paramedic, was working on her birthday Monday when she saved a man's life.

    It was like deja vu after a similar save last year on her birthday when she was called to John Sullivan's home.

    "I asked my wife to go upstairs and get my bathrobe, and when she came down I was unconscious and my heart had stopped," said Sullivan.

    Apicella and King acted quickly and were able to get Sullivan to the hospital just in time to save his life.

    "I call it my greatest birthday present," said Apicella.

    A year later, on Apicella's 37th birthday, she and King responded to a call for another cardiac arrest patient - he wasn't breathing. 

    "I looked at Chris again and was like 'Chris, we gotta do this again, it's my birthday,'" said Apicella. "With the help of Plymouth Fire we were able to save him."

    This morning, Apicella also received a message from Sullivan, telling her 'It was one year ago today that you saved my life, thank you."

    "Something about saving somebody and having them reach back out to you, something about it, it's magical - it's like a present in itself," said King.

    Apicella told Boston 25 News she join this profession 15 years ago to help people. 

    "I would say I'll never forget today, I'll never forget my last birthday - I don't think I'm going to work on my birthday next year," said Apicella.

    Despite her life-saving efforts, Apicella said she couldn't have done it alone and credited other first responders and those packing the gear that helped her group save lives in a matter of minutes.


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