NEW YORK — Axel Farhi on Friday was reunited with the woman who saved his life. He called her his guardian angel.

What You Need To Know

  • A quick-thinking police officer helped saved a French tourist's life last weekend

  • NYPD Officer Lily Graham performed CPR on Axel Farhi, who collapsed while on vacation

  • Doctors said Farhi's artery was completely blocked, and CPR helped save his brain function

  • Farhi was reunited Friday with the officers and FDNY EMTs who helped save his life

“It’s unbelievable. It’s not often in your life that you have the ability and the possibility to thank the people who saved your life,” Farhi said. “I will be eternally grateful to all of them.”

Farhi and his wife Betsy are visiting the city from a suburb 30 minutes outside of Paris. Last Saturday, while walking toward the subway on 28th Street, Farhi fainted. That’s when his angel in a blue uniform, Officer Lily Graham, entered the picture.

“Just right place, right time,” Graham said. “We were super grateful to help out.”

Graham immediately went into action. She was an EMT before she joined the NYPD three years ago. Once Graham saw Farhi’s pulse was gone, she began chest compressions.

“My instincts kicked in,” Graham said. “I just knew the right things to do.”

“I was just getting this feeling from her that she was like, ‘Not on my watch,’” Betsy Farhi said.

When EMTs arrived, Graham and her partner continued the assist. She rode with the team to the hospital, continuing CPR.

“It’s all about getting there fast,” FDNY EMT John Kirk said. “It’s a well-oiled machine. We all work so well together.”

Farhi was rushed to NYU Langone. Doctors said he had a completely blocked artery and suffered a heart attack. His heart stopped pumping blood on the scene.

“Wow, she did a great job with the CPR. That’s what saved his brain,” said Dr. Homam Ibrahim, an interventional cardiologist at NYU Langone.

Doctors said Farhi died while being wheeled into surgery and needed to be resuscitated.

But just five days after the life-saving surgery, they released him from the hospital.

“It’s a new beginning for me,” Farhi said. “It’s a miracle.”

His family is eternally grateful for the New Yorkers responsible for the reunion.

“My kids and I are going to go back home and get rectified in CPR,” Betsy Farhi said. “Because that’s what saved his life. That’s absolutely what saved his life.”


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