CPR saves Albany pilot's life

CPR saves Albany pilot's life
Mark McCorkle, pilot
Mark McCorkle, pilot
Jaime Bryant and Keith Hood, Dougherty County EMS Paramedics
Jaime Bryant and Keith Hood, Dougherty County EMS Paramedics

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Albany businessman suffered a heart attack while piloting an airplane. He's thanking the paramedics he says saved his life.

Mark McCorkle is telling his story at tonight's Aviation Commission. He says it was the grace of God that allowed him to land his plane safely.

Mark McCorkle tightly hugs the Dougherty County EMS paramedics who saved his life on February 28th.

"My chest was like on fire," said Mark McCorkle, Pilot.

McCorkle was flying a 172 Cessna aircraft with two of his friends on his way back to Albany from a basketball game in Athens. He says he encountered some bad weather and an uncomfortable feeling inside.

"I don't know what happened, I was having a heart attack," said McCorkle.

Still thousands of feet in the air, as he got closer to Albany, McCorkle was concentrated on landing the plane safely.

"God got a hold of those controls and straightened everything back out cause we were crashing," said McCorkle.

Landing safely in Albany, an airport official noticed something was wrong and called 911.

"We walked in to see the gentlemen, he was bent over having indigestion," said Keith Hood, Dougherty County EMS Paramedic.

McCorkle walked over to the ambulance when things got worse.

"I chewed the aspirin, he tried to give me another one and I passed out," said McCorkle.

"Well we shocked him twice," said Hood.

On the way to the hospital, Paramedics administered CPR several times to bring McCorkle back to life. He finally woke up to see his life savers face to face.

"He said who are ya'll," said Hood. "I said we are your friends and he said I need friends and I said you got them."

"It's not about me, it's about the power of God," said McCorkle.

"Mark has gone out of his way to show how much he's appreciated what we were able to do for him that night and we are just part of the system," said Hood.

McCorkle was in the hospital for three days and has even hung out with the paramedics who saved his life since the incident. He plans to continue telling his story of survival and faith to anyone who listens.

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