Mayor Nicholas J. Sacco presented a plaque to a local chiropractor yesterday for the work he did to save a North Bergen Housing Authority resident, who had collapsed in her apartment.
Dr. Gerard Busacco has been visiting with NBHA seniors on a weekly basis since 2000. The program was initiated by Mayor Sacco and NBHA Executive Director Gerald Sanzari. When 72-year-old Patrica Witzki did not make a late January session, Dr. Busacco took notice and decided to look into it.
“We called her apartment several times but received no answer, so Leroy, the Supervisor of Maintenance, and I went up to her room and went in,” said Dr. Busacco said. “She was lying facedown and unresponsive.”
Dr. Busacco quickly put a pillow under her head and had Leroy call 911. Holding her hand until EMTs arrived, Dr. Busacco spoke to Witzki the whole time and explained her medical history to the paramedics. Hospitalized at Palisades Medical Center since then, she was due to be released today and her daughter is due to give birth to Witzki’s first grandchild in March.
“When I spoke with the doctors there, they told me she would not have survived if I hadn’t had made it to her when I did,” Dr. Busacco said. “I have to thank the mayor and the North Bergen Housing Authority for making this program possible.”
“When you manage senior buildings, and we have four of them, there’s sometimes a very different ending than the one we had here and we’re so glad this was able to have a happy ending,” Sanzari said. “For Gerry Busacco to make that stop to check on her, it’s not something everyone would think of.”
“We’re happy you showed the initiative that you did when you noticed a missing person from the group,” Mayor Sacco said. “All of North Bergen thanks you for what you did.”