The decision that saved an officer's life

July 7, 2010 3:08:28 PM PDT
An NYPD sergeant is thankful to be alive after suffering a medical emergency while on the job.

She's also grateful for her partner.

"He saved my life. He saved me," Sergeant Grevirlene Kersellius said.

Officer James Atkins and Sergeant Kersellius have had each others backs for more than six years.

That trust was put to the test two weeks ago.

"My head was in so much pain, but I knew I could not leave my partner," Sergeant Kersellius said.

The on-duty partners responded to a call at the West 96th Street subway stop about a man with a gun.

With lights and sirens blaring along Manhattan's Upper West Side, Sergeant Kersellius got a severe headache.

Sergeant Kersellius and Officer Atkins were heading into this subway station when all of a sudden the sergeant says she felt this incredible pain. She says on a scale of 1 to 10 this was a 10.

Sergeant Kersellius wanted to go back to the police precinct.

Her partner made the life saving decision to make a beeline for the emergency room.

"She was passing out. I made the decision to take her to the hospital, take her to the doctor. If it's nothing, that's good. But it turned out to be much more than what I thought it was," Officer Atkins said.

"He kept say are you ok Sarge? Are you ok? Stay with me. Stay with me," she explained.

Doctors discovered Sergeant Kersellius had a sudden cerebral hemorrhage cause by an aneurysm that burst.

"When somebody has that type of bleeding, it is an emergency," Dr. Rafael Ortiz said.

"When an aneurysm ruptures, up to 50 percent of people can die."

"Thank God he insisted on taking me to the hospital because I don't know if I would be here today," Sergeant Kersellius said.

At the hospital, Officer Atkins kept his hands on his partner's shoulders the entire time.

It's a special bond they say they'll carry for the rest of their lives.


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