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"This is my team": Del. woman reunites with first responders, mass guides who saved her life

Woman reunites with first responders, ushers that saved her life in New Castle County church
Woman reunites with first responders, ushers that saved her life in New Castle County church 02:23

HOCKESSIN, Del. – It is a reunion some five months in the making, and one first responders say would not have happened if it was not for CPR training.

"She's 100% living her life right now," Lorraine Williams, community outreach coordinator with New Castle County Paramedics said.

Jackie DelCampo, an 84-year-old wife, mother and parishioner at St. Mary's of Assumption church in Hockessin is heading back inside Tuesday morning to meet the team who saved her life last fall.

She said she does not remember much from the day she went into cardiac arrest on Oct. 30th of last year. Mass guides Tom Green and Leo Hamilton was the first to realize something wasn't right.


"When I first saw her get up from the pew and head for the doors, she just didn't – she seemed like she was in a little distress," Green, a mass guide, said.

They called 911, and not long after several first responder agencies arrived, DelCampo went into cardiac arrest. Paramedics said she was down 10 minutes while they used an AED and gave medication to revive her. DelCampo then was taken to the hospital.

"He's good to me. God is so good to mean he really blesses me every day. I don't take anything for granted," DelCampo said.

Ten days before DelCampo's health scare, a group of 16 mass guides from the church underwent "Hands Only CPR" training with New Castle County Paramedics.

"We kind of thought it was just sort of like something to be ready for, but we didn't expect we'd have to use it that soon," Hamilton said. The mass guide continued, "God intervened – had us in the right place at the right time."

The "chain of survival" – as the group calls it – is a reminder to the community the sheer importance of CPR training.


"We taught them from ground zero all the way up to them knowing what to do and knowing to call and act because even just a delay in calling 911 could've been catastrophic for her," Williams said.

Today, DelCampo said she is healthy and thankful to God for watching over her, and the chain of survival team for making sure she is still here.

"Is it a miracle? I guess. I guess it is a miracle. I can't really grasp that word, but evidently, God is not finished with me yet," DelCampo said with a laugh. She continued, "I don't know what else He wants me to do, but not much I can do at 84."

For those interested in learning CPR, New Castle County Paramedics is offering training and ask you call 302-395-2736 to schedule.

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