Local News

Quick play at Super Bowl party saves Fuquay-Varina man's life

Posted March 11, 2012 6:27 p.m. EDT
Updated March 11, 2012 10:50 p.m. EDT

— When a Super Bowl party took a dangerous turn for a Fuquay-Varina man, his quick-thinking neighbor saved his life – a game-changing play that has brought the two men together.

John Scali said he loves the Super Bowl and loves having people over, so he hosted a game-watching party last month. It was off to a good start until guests noticed that Scali was acting strange.

"He was trying to talk, but it was just gurgling coming out," said Matt Drain, who lives next door.

Drain leaped into action – safely getting Scali, who was having a massive heart attack, to the floor.

"My brother grabbed his leg and I grabbed his head and laid him down on the ground so that we could immediately start CPR," Drain said.

His wife called 911, while Scali's wife, Cindi, watched in disbelief.

"I knew something was terribly wrong and I honestly didn't know if what they were doing was going to work," Cindi Scali said.

John Scali was rushed to WakeMed, where he had to have a quadruple bypass at the age of 48. Without Drain and his brother, he said, this Super Bowl Sunday could have been his last.

"Without them, I don't think I would be here," he said.

Drain, a Navy recruiter, said his military training helped him respond to the emergency and he's glad he was able to save his friend.

"To be able to have him here still is great," he said. "(I) can't even put words on it."