A snowy street and a medical call could have meant a life-or-death situation for a Kansas City man until his neighbors came to the rescue with their snow shovels.
Patrick Gettino, 57, underwent heart surgery and is in a medically induced coma. Doctors hope to help him regain consciousness by Thursday.
The ailing man's family wants to thank those whose quick actions saved his life.
"There's no way I can thank them for what they did," Mike Gettino said about the 20 or so folks who went above and beyond to help out paramedics, firefighters and ultimately his brother. "It's amazing how people come together to help each other out."
It was something firefighters at Pumper 37 have been doing for a week - shoveling. But they had no idea how it might have saved a life Tuesday.
Paramedics got a call about a man suffering a heart attack.
"We got called out in the area of 74th and Oak. As we we're coming around the corner on 74th Street, our ambulance got stuck," paramedic Tara Hill said.
Too much snow had the wheels spinning. The crew desperately grabbed their gear and ran up the street, leaving the ambulance behind. Then something special happened.
"The neighbors took it among themselves to shovel the entire street so that our ambulance was able to get through," Hill said.
The neighbors, seeing one of their own in trouble, grabbed their shovels and quickly removed the snow.
"It was stuck. The wheels were spinning, and we didn't even think twice. We just jumped and ran over there," said David Kissick, who helped dig out the ambulance.
And it wasn't just one or two neighbors. It was nearly everyone on the block, all grabbing a shovel to help out.
"If my wife or someone in my family was in trouble, I would want someone to help them. So I felt it was my duty to give help," Cecil Logan said.
And after the group dug out the ambulance, they weren't done. They came over and shoveled the entire walkway so the stretcher had a clear path to the ambulance.
"The neighbors that shoveled the street said, 'We don't mind doing this for you.' And I said, 'Well, you did it for your neighbor.' He was the one that needed the help," Capt. Mark Little said.
Paramedics say the group digging out the ambulance probably saved Patrick Gettino's life.
"You can only say thank you. There is no way I can repay them. They did a super human thing," said Mike Gettino.
He said once the temperatures warm that his family wants to host a neighborhood block party to thank the Good Samaritans.
"I think we'll have some way to celebrate. I think you can count on that," he said.
Logan said he is glad to have been part of something so special.
"It makes me feel that he's doing well. We were praying for him, and it just makes us feel great we were able to help someone," Logan said. "We'd love to be part of that block party and welcome him home. It's about neighbors helping neighbors."
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