Local News

AC repairman saves Smithfield man

Posted August 27, 2009
Updated October 9, 2009

— Todd Borton, of Smithfield, can credit part of his survival from a heart attack to his air conditioning repairman who made an unexpected stop at his home to check on a newly installed unit.

“I was just coming down 301 and I said, ‘Well, I just need to stop and see if there’s good air flow in his vents,’” repairman Aaron Gerrell said of his trip to Borton's home on Aug. 11. “For some reason, I just pulled over and knocked on the door.”

AC repairman saves Smithfield man Smithfield man gets CPR from repairman

Borton said the two checked the vents in the house and looked at the thermostat. He doesn't remember anything after that.

“All of a sudden Todd went into a jerk and fell backwards,” Gerrell said. “His head hit the dryer. I knew right then that something was drastically wrong.”

Borton, 47, a father of seven children, had suffered a massive heart attack.

“I jumped on him, did CPR,” Gerrell said. “His heart had stopped.”

Gerrell, who used to work on a rescue squad in the 1970s, got Borton’s heart pumping again, and kept him alive until paramedics arrived.

“It was absolutely critical. His actions gave us something to work with when we got there,” Smithfield paramedic David Minor said. “That’s why early CPR is stressed so much because it gives EMS a chance when we get there if compressions are continuous.”

Borton was doing fine on Thursday and said he considers Gerrell a good friend. “He did a wonderful thing,” he said.


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  • jkca Aug 28, 2009

    Talk about timing! Wow, what a great ending. Hoping patient makes a full recovery.

  • Tarheelfan13 Aug 28, 2009

    In a day and time when it seems that all the news is doom and gloom comes a story and reminder that there are still positive and wonderful news happening.

  • Con Amor luvs u regardless Aug 28, 2009

    WOW!!!! What company did the AC man work for?? It is wonderful to see stories like this on the news!!

  • leo-nc Aug 28, 2009

    This guy is a true hero. I congratulate him on a job well done. I know who will be getting my business the next time I need HVAC work done.

  • banditkitty6 Aug 28, 2009

    And God said, "it isn't your day" and put the right people in the right place at the right time. Amen...

  • K9Tucker.LoveMYcop Aug 28, 2009

    Great story with a happy ending. How rare is that? God works in wonderous ways.

  • makomookie Aug 28, 2009

    Can't help but notice the selective religious blinders...

    A man being in the right place at the right time...that was Gods goodness.

    An 11 year old girl who is in the wrong place at the wrong time is kidnapped and raped for 18 years.... that has nothing to do with God.

    If its good.. then its God.

    If its bad... then its tough luck for you sucker.

  • mpheels Aug 28, 2009

    james27613, I agree! For years I've said that when I make my millions I want to start a fund that would pay for CPR/first aid training at all UNC system schools.

  • cfrn Aug 28, 2009

    Don't you just ever wonder....It was a GOD thing !

  • scarletindurham Aug 28, 2009

    That is great! I hope business booms for this man after this :) What wonderful customer service!!