FDNY 'Second Chance Ceremony' reunites survivors with those who helped save them

RED HOOK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Ten patients who survived cardiac arrest were reunited Wednesday with the first responders who helped save their lives.

The FDNY's annual Second Chance Ceremony took place at Liberty Warehouse in Red Hook.

It's the first time the event has been held since the start of the pandemic.

Family, friends, and colleagues cheered as pairs of survivors and first responders were introduced.

"It is an amazing event that gives ups all hope and gratitude for the EMTs and paramedics who do this tireless job day in and day out, " Acting FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanaugh said. "

The 10 survivors honored this year include Megan Dawe who was 11-week pregnant when she had her cardiac incident.

Responders gave her CPR, defibrillated her, and inserted a breathing tube.

"We can't take all the first responders enough for our second chance," Dawe said.

Dawe has since given birth to a healthy baby boy named Owen.
"There's nothing more rewarding than seeing this, Captain Brian Walters said. "And this is the best day for us."

And Seven-year-old Delaney Soto was eating ice cream when she collapsed. Her mom started chest compressions and first responders like Travis Kessel continued the work to keep her alive.

"It's surreal standing here and she's here and okay now so, I'll bite my lip before I cry," Kessel said.

It was Kessel's first cardiac arrest as a paramedic.

"It's so so amazing to still have my daughter here every day," mother Kathrin Rivera said. "This year Delaney got a heart transplant so thank you. Thank you, gracias."

The Second Chance Ceremony is held in celebration of National EMS Week. This year marks the event's 26th year.

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