Red Cross honors life-saving heroes

STAMFORD, Conn. (WTNH) The American Red Cross held their annual “heroes” breakfast in Stamford Friday morning.

The event recognizes men, women and children who have shown kindness and courage to help others. News 8 partnered with the Red Cross for the event and Good Morning Connecticut Anchor Laura Hutchinson was the emcee for the celebration.

One of the “heroes” honored was a man from Westport who sprang into action when he saw a teenager suffer cardiac arrest. Now, he’s hoping the recognition leads to more communities equipping themselves with life-saving technology.

“We noticed a student was laying on the ground with a number of people around him,” Said Mark Gudis.

Instinct kicked in when Gudis saw a teenager collapse at a soccer game, suffering cardiac arrest. He keeps an automated external defibrillator (AED) in his car and on this day it came in handy.

“It says prepare to administer shock, stand back. We shocked him,” Gudis said.

Luckily it was enough to bring the student back, but for Gudis, he was left with one big question.

“What can we do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?”

That’s when he and his wife MaryGrace teamed up with Norwalk Hospital to buy these for 5 nearby communities. Right now, there are about 100 going out in southern Connecticut communities but the Gudis’ are hoping to see this catch on state-wide so more people are safe.

The hospital will help train people how to use them. Gudis and the hospital were honored as American Red Cross heroes at this years breakfast in Stamford Friday morning. Gudis doesn’t think he’s a hero but he is happy to see an important issue be given such attention.

This will be a great platform with the Red Cross award to be able to say this is what we’ve done in the community. This is why we need more awareness around the issue.

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