Breezy Bagpiper Reunites With His Rescuers


On August 2, 2018, Ray Wasson had just finished a bagpipe performance with the Breezy Point Catholic Club Pipes & Drums Band at the Brooklyn Cyclone's stadium, MCU Park, as part of the baseball team’s annual Irish night. It was an event he played for many years, but this one ended in what could have been a tragedy if it were not for some quick-acting good Samaritans and FDNY paramedics.

After the performance, Wasson, 50, was walking up a flight of stairs at the stadium when he collapsed to the ground. Fortunately, three bystanders were in the right place at the right time. Registered Nurses Kelly Ryman O’Malley and Stephanie Donnellan, and Paramedic Robert Lederman from Maimonides Medical Center raced to Wasson’s side.

According to the FDNY, they began CPR, administered one shock from a defibrillator, and called 911 for help. FDNY members quickly responded. Paramedics Marvin Zuniga and Anthony Marascia, EMTs Carlos Olivera and Joshua Haber, and Lt. Scott Rothchild of Station 43 arrived to find Mr. Wasson in cardiac arrest. They continued CPR, and during the next pulse check, he was found to have a good strong pulse. The paramedics established an IV and continued to provide ventilations to Wasson during transport to NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn. When he arrived at the hospital, Wasson was conscious and alert, with no recollection of the incredible life-saving work that had just taken place.

“I woke up in the ambulance and I was so confused. I couldn’t believe something like that happened to me. I want to thank the members that helped me that day. It’s very overwhelming. I feel like everything is different now. I don’t sweat the small stuff. Basically every day is a win for me because it is a miracle that I am alive,” Wasson said.

On Tuesday, May 21, Wasson got to thank his rescuers personally for his second chance at life at the 25th Annual Second Chance Ceremony in Brooklyn. The annual coincides with National EMS Week. Wasson joined eight other cardiac arrest patients who also got to meet their saviors.