MIDDLE RIVER, Md. (WJZ) — A gunshot wound and no heartbeat. It looked like the end for 19-year-old Donald Lee.
But Alex DeMetrick reports, two years later, Lee met the man who helped bring him back to life.
Lee is now 21. Two years ago, there was a neighborhood scuffle in Middle River.
“We just got in a bad argument, and it was supposed to be a fight,” Lee said.
But he was shot in the chest, and a friend tried to save him.
“Put his finger in the hole, tried to hold my blood in. He said my eyes rolled into the back of my head. I said I was done and that was it. I passed out from there,” said Lee.
About the same time, Baltimore County EMT Lt. Richard Lannen got the call. He found Lee without a heartbeat.
“Air collects between the lung and the lining of the body and builds up and presses on the aorta, and makes you go into cardiac arrest,” said Lannen.
Along with other Middle River EMTs, Lannen used a needle to deflate the air bubble and something unique happened.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever had someone wake up after a cardiac arrest and speak to you,” said Lannen.
“I cried my heart out because I didn’t know my son was dead at the scene, and I didn’t know the procedures Lt. Lannen did to save my son,” said Luana Lee, mother.
At Shock Trauma, surgeons following up those procedures gave Donald Lee a lock on life.
The family marked Thursday’s reunion with a homemade plaque for Lannen.
“It’s kind of embarrassing,” said Lannen.
“I wouldn’t be here today, so I thank you with all my heart. I appreciate it,” said Lee.
According to the Lee family, two men have been convicted in the shooting and currently await sentencing.