Arizona man who suffered heart attack at Mitchell Airport returns to thank doctors, nurses

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MILWAUKEE -- On the one-year anniversary of a near-death experience, an Arizona man came back to Milwaukee to thank the people who saved him. The heartfelt reunion was held at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center on Friday, July 13.

Paul Guibord

On July 13, 2017, Paul Guibord collapsed while reaching for his luggage at Mitchell International Airport. He was having a heart attack, doctors say, few survive but Guibord did and its why he flew back for the special visit.

"All the nurses and staff on the eighth floor are the ones I want to thank," said Guibord.

The last time Paul Guibord was at Aurora St. Luke's, he definitely wasn't up for walking around.

Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center

"I was pretty down at that point," said Guibord.

Dr. Louie Kostopoulos

"The blockage was in the main artery in the front part of the heart," said Dr. Louie Kostopoulos, interventional cardiologist.

He certainly didn't have the strength to thank the people saving his life. A year later, he has more than enough.

"It was my idea to come back and I wanted to personally thank everyone and I was hoping that everyone was still here and I could thank them," said Guibord.

Paul Guibord thanks Dr. Louie Kostopoulos


On July 13, 2017 Guibord's flight home to Arizona was delayed, and as he leaned over to pick up his luggage the 74-year-old collapsed. Guibord was having a heart attack.

Tony Kraus

"I went and got an AED and I placed the AED on the subject while my partner and two other people performed CPR on him," said Tony Kraus, with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.

Guibord was rushed to Aurora St. Luke's. He underwent emergency surgery to clear the blockage in his heart.

"Nine out of ten people will not have this kind of outcome and that's kind of a dismal number if you think about it," said Kostopoulos.

Guibord flew from Arizona to Milwaukee on the one-year anniversary all to say thank you in person -- because a phone call just wouldn't do.

"It's been exactly one year to the day that I had my heart attack. The result is these people took me from there to I'm still here," said Guibord.

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