Six pararescuemen from the 48th Rescue Squadron were able to meet the man whose life they saved during the Thunder and Lightning over Arizona event, May 1.
Russell Korne, a Phoenix resident, suffered a heart attack on April 12 while he and his wife were walking past the 48th RQS display. Six PJs and two Department of Public Safety officers rushed to his aid. Since the 48th RQS was displaying their gear during the Open House, they had it readily available to assist Korne.
While on scene, the PJs intubated and defibrillated Korne. He was then transported to the hospital and his condition remained unknown to the PJs, until recently.
Korne called the Public Affairs office here. He was out of the hospital and wanted to meet the men who saved his life. On May 1, he visited the 48th RQS and did just that.
“The surgeon said this morning, if you hadn’t of been there, I wouldn’t be alive,”Korne told the PJs.
Korne, a retired Airman, told what he could recollect, which was very minimal.
“About the only thing I can remember is driving up here and finding myself in a hospital five days later,” Korne said.
Korne’s surgeon said if it would have taken any more than five minutes, Korne would have died. Even though the PJs did their best, they weren’t sure he would survive. Therefore, they were grateful for the opportunity to meet him.
“I was a bit nervous, to be honest with you. I’ve seen a lot of people have heart attacks like that and I’ve never seen anyone come back,” said Dan, 48th RQS pararescueman. “We save a lot of lives deployed, and everything, but we don’t hardly get the opportunity to meet our patients later on.”
As a Vietnam veteran, Korne said he knows what it is like to be thanked for saving someone’s life, which was another reason he wanted to meet the PJs. He just wanted to shake their hands and say thank you.