A Brick Township man is alive today thanks to the help of his neighbors, township police and EMTs – as well as some good timing stemming from a neighborly offering of pulled pork.
The situation played out Jan. 2 shortly after 7:30pm, when Roberta Cartwright was on the phone with her neighbor, 82-year-old Carl Schwab. She was in the middle of asking him if he and his wife, Susan, would like some of the pulled pork she had just made when she heard Carl drop the phone.
Within moments, Roberta heard Susan calling for help over the phone line that was still open after she had dropped it. Roberta immediately called to her husband, Peter Cartwright, telling him that Carl needed help. With that, Peter jumped in his car and drove to the Schwabs’ residence at the end of the street. Meanwhile, Susan, seeing her husband had gone unconscious, called 9-1-1.
When Peter arrived and entered his neighbor’s house, he found Carl unconscious, not breathing and with no pulse. Peter got Carl out of the chair he was slumped in, placed him on the floor, and began CPR.
Within four minutes of being dispatched, Brick Police Ptl. Anthony Chadwick arrived at the home and ran in with his first aid bag, which included an automated external defibrillator, or AED. By the time Chadwick had reached the patient to continue life-saving measures, Ptl. Mark Storch arrived as backup, and the Brick Township Police EMTs were close behind.
Those EMTs included Anthony Botts, Kyle Matthews, and Paul Witham, said police spokesman Sgt. Jim Kelly.
Police and EMTs fell back on their training and applied life-saving measures to Schwab for upwards of 20 minutes, ultimately regaining a pulse, and getting him stable enough to be transported to Ocean Medical Center, Kelly said. He received treatment for over a month, which included a pacemaker/defibrillator implant, and weeks of rehabilitation. Carl was back home by the middle of February.
Last week, the Cartwrights, Schwabs, Officers Chadwick and Storch, and EMTs Botts, and Witham, reunited at the Schwab’s residence to celebrate Carl’s recovery and a job well done by the officers, EMTs, and the Cartwrights.
“These guys are amazing, and I want to thank them all for saving my husband’s life,” said Susan Schwab. “You all are wonderful, and my neighbors are wonderful.”