NY Daily News - June 14, 2012by Maggie Hayes
Rosa Howard hails her "heroes"Rosa Howard went to EMS Station 14 on Wednesday to thank her rescue team, three months after they brought her back from death three times. She was welcomed by a crowd of cheering firefighters, paramedics, nurses and EMTs.
"They are heroes, in my eyes," said Howard, 50, smiling through tears. "They're my heroes. I need to write a book on this."
"It's emotional because I'm looking at a person who was dead," said paramedic Paul Wallace.
"We have the training, we have the experience, we were in the right place at the right time," said Kevin Bratholt, who, with Wallace, were first to arrive at Howard's Trinity Ave home last March, when she went into cardiac arrest brought on by her asthma.
"I was scared," said Howard as she recounted the incident.
"She knocked on my door. She was gasping for air," said neighbor Shanda Rodriguez.
Rodriguez held Howard upright, and felt her getting cold. They called 911.
Paramedics Bratholt and Paul Wallace were the first on the scene, followed by two EMTs, five firefighters, and EMS Lieutenant Gil Aviles.
Howard did not have a pulse when Bratholt and Wallace first arrived. They lay Howard down on her bed, gave her an IV and administered CPR.
Wallace said it took 10 to 15 minutes to revive her.
After the rest of the team arrived and Howard was stable, they carried her four stories down a winding staircase, in the elevatorless building.
"Everyone stayed calm. We feed off of each other," said Aviles. "It's rewarding to the members to see their job was affected in a positive way."
But before arriving at the hospital and then in the ER, Howard had to be revived two more times. She was in a coma for three days.
"I was destroyed," said Howard's cousin, Cheryl Thomas, who was told that Howard only had 48 hours to live and she should consider making funeral arrangements.
With friends and family never leaving her side, Howard opened her eyes on March 24.
"It's a miracle," said Thomas. "The doctor said she had a strong heart and that she was willing to come back."
"Lincoln Hospital . . . saved my life," said Howard.
"If it wasn't for the training that the fire department gave to us, along with teaming up with the firefighters, this would not have been possible," said Wallace. "It makes us appreciate the teamwork."
As for Howard, she believes "God and everyone was on my side. It wasn't my time."
Then the short woman in the bright blue fedora told her lifesavers, "I love you all."