BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – It was a normal Sunday morning on Oct. 25 when 67-year-old Bob Sikora, a Vietnam veteran and exercise equipment salesman, was cooling down after a 30-minute workout on the treadmill at Boardman’s Creekside Fitness Center. He was standing there talking to his cousin, Marcia Pacak, when he suddenly grabbed his chest.
“I said, ‘Wow!’ I saw a bright light, and I went down,” Sikora said.
Marcia’s mother, Mariann, is the director of Heart and Vascular Services at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown. Marcia knew she had to first administer CPR.
There was also a doctor at the exercise center, and he went for the Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
“He jolted me, and I don’t remember any of that. I mean, I wasn’t there,” Sikora said.
Sikora ended up at St. Elizabeth Health Center, where doctors discovered four blockages of 80-90 percent, requiring triple bypass surgery. A month later, he was back at Creekside talking about what happened and knowing that if weren’t for the heroes – Marcia Pacak and the doctor – he may very well be dead.
“The doctor says, ‘You hit the lotto. He said, ‘You were at the right place, the right time, the right people who did the right thing,’” Sikora said.
Sikora will be in Arkansas for Thanksgiving and Christmas, spending time with his daughter and doing some cardiac rehabilitation. His doctors want to see him in one year. He has new veins and should be OK until then.