Radnor Township Police Officer Anthony Radico should not be alive, he says.
He has been cleared for work by his cardiologist and can perform all the tasks of the job, he told Radnor Patch on Monday. Radico said he “absolutely” always knew that he wanted to return to the job.
“It’s been an emotional roller coaster,” said Radico, who added that less than 5 percent of people survive cardiac arrest, an abrupt cessation of pump function in the heart. And within that 5 percent some people suffer irreversible damage. Radico, who awoke from an induced coma on his 43rd birthday, seems to have come out in the clear.
He has made changes to his lifestyle including a low-salt diet, an increase in cardio workouts and a focus on getting enough sleep. Doctors not know why it happened or if it will ever happen again.
Radico said he does not remember anything from the day his heart stopped. A woman, whom Radico says is now like a member of his family, helped to save his life by performing CPR on him for 7 minutes before an ambulance arrived. Radico said that had someone at the gym used the AED machine that was there he might have been out of the hospital in only a few days, but he said he does not want to focus on that. He knows he’s very lucky.
Radico said there has been “overwhelming support” from Radnor’s township manager Bob Zienkowski, police superintendent William Colarulo, all of the department’s officers and staff, family, friends and even people whom he didn’t know.
A Radnor officer for 7 years, Radico said his brush with death has made him even more resolute to helping people. Now more than ever he said he knows “how much of a difference we can make to people in their time of need.”
At one point while he was in the hospital a doctor he did not know came in to see him. “I can’t believe you’re alive,” the doctor said.
Still feeling that roller coaster of emotions, Radico said he does not know why he survived either. “There has to be a reason.”
“It makes you want to live a better life. Be a better person.”