Man who underwent lifesaving 90-minute CPR after rare heart infection reunites with doctors

Toni Yates Image
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Man who underwent 90-minute CPR procedure reunites with doctors
Toni Yates has more on a touching reunion between a young man and the hospital staff that saved his life.

TEANECK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Kyle Hewlett was the youngest person at Holy Name Medical Center's reunion on Monday.

He was the one who's heart stopped, and the one that this Holy Name Hospital Crash Cart Team saved.

Back in July, the 24-year-old woke up not feeling well.

"It wasn't like a pain or anything," Hewlett told Eyewitness News. "A strange sensation in the middle of my chest."

After being admitted, he was then diagnosed with myocarditis - a viral infection causing inflammation of his heart. Then his heart stopped.

The care team at Holy Name Medical Center performed CPR for 90 minutes to keep him alive.

"CPR for that length of time is not a good sign, but Kyle was showing us signs that he was there," said Dr. Stephen Angeli.

Kyle was fighting to survive.

"I was fighting in my head to open my eyes, whatever I could do so they wouldn't give up on me," said Hewlett. "And they didn't."

They sure didn't.

"In the moment, you don't want your feeling to take over," said Toni Whittaker, one of the members of the Holy Name care team. "You know what you have to do. Your only option is to save him."

All the while, they encouraged him too.

He was finally stabilized, hooked up to machines that took over. But they got him there, which is why Kyle and his mother, Gina, came back to the hospital for Monday's reunion.

"It was a moment I will never forget," said Gina Gilmore, Kyle's mom. "I remember yelling 'save my son,' and they did."

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