MATTHEWS, N.C. (WJZY) – Sitting at his piano comforts Kurt Fichtman; he’s been playing for years, and it’s part of his faith.
Kurt had a vision that his faith would be tested two weeks ago.
“I just stopped, and the first thing that popped into my mind was, ‘oh my gosh, I’m going to die soon,'” said Fichtman. “And God just let me know, ‘it’s going to be okay.'”
He didn’t tell his family because he didn’t want to cause panic.
The days went on.
“Nothing happens, and I forgotten the feeling came over me for the most part,” said Fichtman. “Wednesday morning arrives; I go to the gym.”
Then on March 8, 2023, Matthews Fire and EMS responded to a call at Planet Fitness on East Independence Boulevard.
“One minute, I’m working out bench pressing, and the next minute I wake up in the ER.”
In over a minute, crews worked on 44-year-old Kurt Fichtman for 16 minutes, 120 compressions a minute, and just shy of two thousand compressions before being taken to the hospital.
Also, a cardiac nurse from Novant Health’s Matthews hospital was in the gym at the time. She helped revive him and was also one of his first visitors.
“I said thank you for saving my life,” said Fichtman. “Thank you for giving me a second chance.”
There are others Kurt Fichtman belives are mandatory for him to thank —the first responders from Matthews Fire and EMS.
“It was 16 minutes of CPR,” Fichtman said. “Whatever happened in that period of time, how do you even thank somebody for that commitment, and for sticking with it, and caring about another human being that much.”
The time has been hard on the Fichtman family, with his wife Elizabeth tearing up while hearing the story again and his daughter still grasping the entire recovery process in the hospital and at home.
That makes the song, ‘Someone To Watch Over Me,’ mean so much.
“I’m letting everyone know I made it. I’m alive,” said Fichtman. “Tired, but I’m alive; I’m grateful to be alive.”
Kurt Fichtman also knows that watchful eye put the proper people in his path, a path he can’t continue without thanking everyone who saved his life.
“It would mean the world to me to meet them in person,” added Fichtman when talking about the Matthews Fire and EMS. “And to say thank you for saving my life.”