HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) – Keren Day says it feels pretty good to save a life.

The 28-year-old Manhattan chiropractor should know – she resuscitated a worker whose heart stopped beating after he suffered a severe electric shock Tuesday morning in the northern New Jersey community of Hackensack. Carlos Gamez came back to life after about 90 seconds of chest compressions, she said.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Day said. “His heart literally started pumping again in my hand. It felt like a small, hard balloon filling up.”

Gamez, 24, and two co-workers were injured when an aluminum ladder they were adjusting hit an overhead power line outside a building they were powerwashing about 8:20 a.m. The community of 44,000 residents is 12 miles northwest of Manhattan.

The three men suffered burns to their hands and feet when the surge of electricity entered and exited their bodies during its passage to the ground, where it scorched the pavement.

Gamez was hurt the worst, according to Hackensack police spokesman Frank Lomia. The Palisades Park resident was “knocked cold.” His heart stopped beating.

Co-workers were trying to revive him when Day drove by the scene on her way to work. She initially thought Gamez was being mugged, Day said. Being a certified black belt, she was preparing to come to his defense when she realized it was a medical emergency and he was in cardiac arrest.

CPR is part of Day’s training as a chiropractor. She completed a refresher course Saturday.

“He was turning purple,” Day said. “I told everyone to leave him alone because they were pressing on his abdominal area; I guess they were trying to do their own version of CPR.”

Then she went to work.

Gamez regained consciousness a few minutes later and asked for a cup of water. He was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center along with co-workers Luis Lopez, 21 of Leonia, and Carlos Chimera, 26, of West New York. All three were in stable condition.

“Thank god she was there,” Lomia said. “She saved his life.”

Day grew up in Great Neck, Long Island, and is a graduate of Hofstra University and the New York Chiropractic College. Being single, she said she plans to celebrate at home tonight with a glass of wine.

“I’m feeling good,” Day said. “I’m in awe. I’m just glad he’s OK.”


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