On Nov. 7, a longtime Godfrey Lee High School coach and teacher, Tom DeGennaro, collapsed from a brain aneurysm while in his classroom.
A group of staff members and the school's Medical Emergency Response Team were able to save his life. DeGennaro has spent the past month recovering, and on Friday, Dec. 21 he returned to the school to thank the people who saved him.
A school-wide assembly welcome DeGennaro back on Friday.
"It's so important to know what you're doing during the time of an emergency," DeGennaro told the student body at the assembly. "It was definitely an emergency, because at one point I was not here."
DeGennaro is a football and track coach at Godfrey Lee High School. He thanked the group of students and staff who quickly responded when he collapsed and saved his life.
"Through the grace of God and the quick reactions of the staff and the miracle of the paramedics and the people at Metropolitan Hospital, they pulled me through," he said.
DeGennaro encouraged the students to take CPR classes so they could be in a position to help someone who might be in a crisis.
"It meant the world to me that I'm loved and that they care for me," he said.
The teacher and coach said that he still has to continue in his recovery, but he wants to continue coaching both the football and track teams. He also hopes to officially return to the classroom in 2019.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.