ST. JAMES (WABC) -- A Suffolk County police officer, along with several Good Samaritans, came to the aid of an NYPD officer who was suffering from cardiac arrest early Monday morning.
Highway Patrol Safe-T Section officer Steven Turner was off-duty and playing a game called deck hockey at the Sports Arena, located at 620 Middle Country Road in St. James, when 49-year-old NYPD Sergeant Ray Hawkins, who was also playing hockey, collapsed from what his family called a massive heart attack just after midnight.
"We finished up the game, we were shaking hands, and couple guys walked off the deck and they started screaming and yelling," Turner said. "I didn't know what was going on. There was a gentleman in cardiac arrest, and there were two people kneeling over him trying to assist him."
Turner and several others began CPR and located the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that was at the facility. After they administered two shocks, Hawkins began breathing on his own and regained a pulse.
"He had actually left the game early, halfway through the second period...because he wasn't feeling well," he said. "He was down for a couple of minutes before anyone noticed him because there was nobody in the stands."
He was transported by Nesconset Fire Department ambulance to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he is listed in critical condition in a coma.
His family is now sitting vigil in the intensive care unit, but it not for Officer Turner, he might never have made it to the hospital.
"It does feel good to do that, but...gotta get him home," he said. "That would be better."
When it comes to cardiac arrest, experts say the difference between life and death is measured in minutes and seconds.
"Time is critical," Dr. William Lawson said. "I mean, the heart and the head and the other vital organs are very sensitive to the effects of no circulation."