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‘It’s a miracle:’ Teammates help save hockey player who got into crash while suffering heart attack

Drew Lazarus was headed to a local diner to meet his fellow Apollos teammates after playing a game at Westchester Skating Academy in February. However, Lazarus never made it because he crossed the yellow line on Route 9A and crashed.

News 12 Staff

Apr 25, 2023, 9:48 PM

Updated 420 days ago

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A team of hockey players helped save another player’s life after he suffered a heart attack while driving home from a game in Elmsford.
Drew Lazarus was headed to a local diner to meet his fellow Apollos teammates after playing a game at Westchester Skating Academy in February.
However, Lazarus never made it because he crossed the yellow line on Route 9A and crashed.
Lazarus was found in the car by one of his teammates who smashed the window to check his vitals.
A Greenburgh police officer was on patrol nearby and was alerted to the scene.
Officer Andrew Preiser quickly arrived on scene, and with the help of others nearby, removed Lazarus from the vehicle and began administering lifesaving CPR until medics arrived.
"At some point, we were making jokes that we were going to have to find a new goalie because we were just trying to get through it with some levity,” said team captain Todd Levy.
Lazarus was rushed to Westchester Medical Center where cardiologist Dr. Avi Levine performed lifesaving procedures.
"In the middle of the night, he had a stent procedure to open the blockage of the blood vessel. A temporary pump put in his body just to support him through this,” he says.
Dr. Levine says the fast actions of Drew's teammates made the difference.
"Time is tissue,” he says. “For every second your brain is not getting blood flow, that's precious, precious seconds."
"I think it's a miracle. The whole thing is a miracle," 
Lazarus was back playing a game this weekend and he plans to finish out the season.
"I'm just so grateful, my friends, my teammates…I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for them,” he says.
Lazarus learned he had underlying heart disease with no symptoms. Now his whole team is getting heart health checkups.
They plan on winning this season with Lazarus in their corner.
"We celebrate every moment together. We celebrate every post-game like it's our last one. We've been doing it before something happened to him, and we'll do it now more than ever,” Levy says.
Dr. Levine says no age is too young to get a heart health checkup. He recommends speaking with your doctor to see what test is right for you.


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