Quailbrook Heart Attack Drama Leads To Reunion Nearly One Year Later

FTPD Sgt. Greg Price, Quailbook employees Nick Pisani and Tom Russo, Johnny Stokes, FTPD Sgt. Dan Lyons and FTPD Officer Jelani Lanier at their reunion on Quailbrook Golf Course.

Johnny Stokes will never forget the day that wanting to avoid traffic on Route 287 saved his life.

The Fords resident was at Quailbrook Golf course on August 23, 2021, and was deciding whether he would play a “fast nine” holes or just hit a bucket of balls on the driving range.

“I was just thinking about trying to get a quick nine in and beat that traffic home, and that’s what made me make the decision to hit a bucket of balls instead of going out,” he said.

“If I had taken a cart and gone out, these gentlemen would not have had the chance to save my life the way they did,” he said.

The gentlemen to which Stokes referred are Quailbrook employees Tom Russo and Nick Pisani and Franklin Township Police Department Detective Sergeant Gregory Price, Sergeant Daniel Lyons, and Officer Jelani Lanier.

And the incident which Stokes said could have ended his life was a heart attack, suffered while he was on the driving range.

“I’m standing there with my clubs, trying to figure out which one I’m going to hit first, and the next thing I know, I’m in the hospital two days later,” he said. “I don’t even remember falling.”

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Pisani said that he was with a group of people in the club house, and one saw Stokes lying on the ground.

“We went out, took his pulse, there was no pulse, and he wasn’t breathing,” Pisanai said. “Tommy (Russo) started CPR right away, I went in to call 911 and took the (defibrillator) out.”

“I didn’t know if he was laying on the ground to tie his shoelace, or if he was taking a break, but he looked like he was out of it, and I went immediately out to him and shook him a little bit to see if he as coherent, and he was just staring straight up at me,” Russo said. “I felt for his pulse, there was no pulse.”

That’s when Russo started the chest compressions, he said.

He was soon joined by Sgt. Price, Russo said.

“I just happened to be on New Brunswick Road, so I got here exactly one minute after the call went out,” Russo said. “When I got here, Tom was performing chest compressions pretty well.”

Price said he asked for the defibrilator, and “the minute we attached it to Mr. Stokes, it said to give him shocks. We administered two shocks, and I believe within four minutes, Officer Lanier showed up, and we began rotating doing chest compressions until the medical squad got here.”

“I jumped in there, did the best that I could do till the squad got there,” Lanier said. “Good thing that everything turned out the way it did.”

The reunion was organized by Stokes’ daughter, Lyons said, He said that since most of the men were military veterans, it made sense to have the get-together on Armed Forces Day.

“This is the first time in my 21 years that someone went out of their way to organize something like this,” Lyons said.

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