WELLESLEY (CBS) -- Tom Parker was spending his 24th birthday Tuesday the best way he knew how.
That's on the ice in Wellesley, with his hockey buddies.
"I'd say hockey is truly a huge part of my identity. I love it," the Cambridge man said.
He never could have expected he'd end up giving a priceless gift to a stranger.
The referee officiating a men's league game at Boston Sports Institute in Wellesley collapsed, suffering a medical emergency.
"It was just an out-of-body experience where I trusted my training and thankfully, it paid off," he explained.
But Tom is on his way to becoming an EMT, and his CPR education is now muscle memory.
"I hopped over the boards, I skated over. And by the time I got there, my teammates had already flipped him on his back, they were starting to take off his shirt and getting the AED out. My training kicked in, but I can't give enough credit to my teammates," Parker recalled.
Paramedics soon rushed the referee to the hospital. Tom hopes to see him back on the ice soon. This experience has made the aspiring doctor even more sure he wants a future helping others.
"I always knew I wanted to do it, but it gave me the confidence I can do it. As Tuesday showed, I can make a difference."
Parker is currently applying to medical schools, with the goal of becoming a neurologist or neurosurgeon. His interest in the profession began as a high schooler, being treated for hockey concussions.
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