Neighbor, officer awarded for saving life of Goffstown man

Union Leader Correspondent
February 16. 2017 1:46PM
Debbie Girardin visits with her neighbor, Todd Glaczenski, whose life she helped save at the beginning of the month. (Melissa Proulx/Union Leader Correspondent)

Girardin and Goffstown Police Officer Chris Patten received Life Saving awards Monday night from the Police Department. (Melissa Proulx)

GOFFSTOWN — Todd Glaczenski was in disbelief when he found out he’d had a heart attack while on a business trip in California at the end of January.

At 50 years old, Glaczenski’s never needed hospitalization, and besides some back pain and sore gums, he hadn’t felt any different that day.

So when friends and family recounted what happened to him only three days afterward, Glaczenski said he was shocked.

On Feb. 2, three days after his heart attack in California, Glaczenski suffered another heart attack at home in Goffstown, losing his pulse at one point. His wife woke up to hear him gasping for breath next to her, though Glaczenski says he doesn’t remember any of it.

“I hear all the stories and I think, ‘Oh my gosh,’” he said.

But thanks to his close friend next door, Debbie Girardin, and Goffstown police officer Chris Patten, Glaczenski survived with only four broken ribs.

“I feel it,” he said, smiling, when talking about his ribs. “They got to me.”

Girardin and Patten performed CPR on Glaczenski and shocked him with an AED that night while they waited for paramedics to arrive on scene, which was about ten minutes later.

Girardin was the first to begin the life saving measures after the Glaczenskis’ 19-year-old son, Damian Jackson, ran next door to get her. She works as a registered nurse at Elliot Hospital and the two families have been close since the Glaczenskis moved in three years ago.

“They’re our best friends,” said Nicole Glaczenski, Todd’s wife. “It just automatically clicked to me, ‘Go get Debbie.’”

Patten said he was thankful to have Girardin there to help him, and that he was thankful he was there to help her, so they could keep a steady pace until paramedics arrived.

“Two-person CPR is always preferred,” he said.

Patten said he’s thankful the outcome was positive.

“That’s the first time I’ve been able to save someone’s life,” he said. “That’s the best night of my career.”

For his family, the dedicated work of both Girardin and Patten means the world, Todd Glaczenski said.

“They’re the heroes for sure,” he said.

Girardin argues otherwise.

“(Todd’s) the real hero in this, though,” she said. “He cheated death.”

Both Girardin and Patten were honored at the Monday night Board of Selectmen meeting, receiving a Life Saving Award from the Police Department.

Selectmen Chair Peter Georgantas said these actions are indicative of the strong departments and community in Goffstown.

“It’s a great town and this is what it’s all about,” he said.

Resident Tony Hook, who is president of RTD Manufacturing, a firearms manufacturer in Goffstown, and who is a friend of Todd Glaczenski, donated a rifle valued at $1,195 to the police department for Patten as a thank you.

Once he’s in better health, Nicole Glaczenski said her husband is eager to meet and thank the officer who helped save his life.

“Absolutely,” Todd Glaczenski said.

Human InterestGoffstown

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