OAKLAND — For a Lafayette man, Thursday marked a happy reunion with four men who saved his life earlier this year.
Just before the Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners meeting, Lafayette resident Steven Kirschner and his wife, Susan Kirschner, were reunited with those men — Oliver Naca, Rainier Escanio, Marc Discipulo and Armil Vertudez — as well as with the emergency responders and airport personnel who jumped into action to defibrillate and transport him after he suffered a heart attack outside the passenger terminal in February.
“It’s great — really, really wonderful,” Kirschner said of meeting the men who had saved his life. “I feel completely fortunate, so lucky.”
“This is a surreal moment,” said Vertudez, one of the men who had helped save Kirschner.
The commissioners, along with officials from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, Oakland Fire Department, Oakland City Council and Southwest Airlines gathered Thursday at the port’s offices to recognize the people involved with the lifesaving rescue, including the four citizens and emergency personnel.
The ordeal began Feb. 27, 2017, when the Kirschners arrived at the airport ready to board a Southwest Airlines flight to Seattle to visit Steven’s 99-year-old mother.