In support of the nonprofit Morristown Medical Center
and Goryeb Children's Hospital

When Every Second Counts

Hanover Resident is Alive Thanks to Life-saving Medical Care

Although Bruce Fisher doesn’t remember much about the night of November 3, 2022 (sitting up in bed and gasping for air and then falling backward and passing out), his wife, Beth, will never forget the Atlantic Mobile Health paramedics, Melissa Baccaro and Matt Dickson, rushing through their door and shocking her husband’s heart nine times with a defibrillator in between rounds of CPR.

As a token of Bruce’s immense gratitude, he and his wife recently gave a generous gift to the Cardiac Center of Excellence General Purpose Fund acknowledging the paramedics, Cath Lab teams, physicians, nurses and team members in the Sameth Emergency Department, Cardiac Care Unit and Gagnon 5, with Healing Hands Awards. 

The 69-year-old knows the paramedics’ heroic efforts are why he is alive today. On route to Morristown Medical Center, physicians, nurses and team members at the Sameth Emergency Department were briefed on Bruce’s medical situation and ready to assist the moment he was whisked through the hospital’s doors. He was immediately diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia – where the heart’s lower chambers beat too quickly – and underwent emergency surgery to insert a combination pacemaker and defibrillator into his chest.

“I was unconscious for a while, and my heart stopped,” said Bruce. “I know I died because I saw my parents and brother, who are all deceased. My dad told me it wasn’t my time yet and to go back. I opened my eyes and found myself in a hospital bed with Dr. Robert Coyne, a cardiologist at Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute, tapping on the middle of my forehead and telling me to wake up.”

The story is surreal even as Bruce retells it multiple times. It was an extraordinary experience for him to live through and incredibly humbling to feel so much compassion and kindness from the caregivers and team members at Morristown Medical Center. “The care I got was phenomenal,” said Bruce. “Everyone went out of their way for me. I was in the hospital for less than a week, which is quick for what happened to me and a testament to my wonderful treatment.”

The experience has left Bruce in awe of how quickly life can change. “I am surprised that something like this would ever happen to me,” he said. “This certainly makes me appreciate life and appreciate people much more. So many physicians, nurses and medical technicians that didn’t know me made it their business to help me. And they never gave up.”

Stories like Bruce’s remarkable comeback are thanks to the transformative donor support that keeps Morristown Medical Center on the cutting edge of life-saving medical advances, state-of-the-art technology and patient-centric compassionate care.

To support Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute, contact Susan Johns, foundation officer, at 973-593-2413 or

Hear Bruce’s Story

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