JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (CBS) — Not many people get to return to the scene of their death, but John Sculli was able to go right back to the gym where he died and meet the man who saved his life.
In June 2022, Sculli, a basketball referee, was officiating a semi-pro game between the Jamestown Jackals and Toledo Glass City when he was suddenly struck by a “widowmaker” heart attack.
Doctors even told his fiancée, Donna, that almost no one comes back from a widowmaker.
“He’s that one percent,” Donna said.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” said Sculli. “I mean, that’s why I’m here.”
Within seconds of his collapse, a Toledo player named Myles Copeland rushed to his side and started doing CPR.
Copeland was also a Toledo firefighter just a year out of the academy who knew exactly what to do when Sculli fell.
“I’ve never witnessed someone just collapse, but I knew what had to be done,” Copeland said.
Knowing that he helped save Sculli’s life, Copeland said, is “honestly one of the best feelings in the world.”
When Sculli returned to the gym, Copeland was also invited to stop by. It was the first time the pair met since the day of Sculli’s collapse.
Since that day, Sculli has undergone a quadruple bypass surgery and returned to refereeing.
He’s refereed almost 50 games for the season and seems none the worse for wear, all thanks to Copeland.