Man reunites with officer, nurses who helped save his life

Posted at 2:44 PM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 15:44:49-05

By Karina Bolster

HERNICO, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico man reunites with the police officer and nurses who jumped into action to save his life after suffering a medical emergency that left him unconscious.

Timothy Sites was heading home from an appointment downtown Friday afternoon when he felt his heart starting to fail.

“I have end-stage renal failure and heart, kidney patients can suffer from what’s called flash pulmonary edema,” Sites said. “That’s where the body sends all of the fluid into your lungs which stops you from breathing. Then very often the heart can no longer pump against the lungs and your heart stops.”

Sites recalls pulling up to the intersection of Skipwith Road and Forest Avenue near Henrico Doctors' Hospital.

“There was a car in front of me and I knew I had to get around her to get to the emergency room,” Sites said. “And then I could no longer breathe, and my vision [went] dark."

Somehow his car continued to roll down Forest Avenue, before crossing the median and crashing.

That's when Janet Johnson and another nurse, Kate Giordano, jumped into action.

"I was doing some work on my phone and I heard a crash," Johnson aid.

Johnson called 911 while Giordano checked on Sites.

“I hung up with 911 and that’s when he lost his pulse,” she said. “So [Giordano] and I pulled him out of the car. There was another gentleman there who helped us get him out of the car and then she started CPR and the off-duty police officer had pulled up at that point.”

Between the two nurses and Corporal Donald Proffitt with Henrico Police, they were able to keep Sites stable until other first responders arrived.

"I've seen a bunch of different situations but none that I've had to be involved in like that," Proffitt said.

“It was an unbelievable day,” Sites said.

On the day before Thanksgiving, and only one day after he was discharged from the hospital, Sites reunited with two of the three heroes.

“Because they went above and beyond, and did things they didn’t have to do, I’m alive today,” he said. “No other reason. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. If they had not done exactly what they did when they did it I would not be here today.”

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