A former Maui councilman is thankful to be alive after he suffered a heart attack in Las Vegas.
Danny Mateo retired on Dec. 31, 2018, after working years as a Maui councilmember and county clerk.
He said he’s been waiting 20 years to take this trip with his wife Clarissa.
The couple arrived in Vegas on April 10 and decided to see a show.
“We got there a little early so we were sitting outside waiting for the doors to open, and at that point, I had a heart attack,” Mateo said.
The heart attack was major, requiring a six-bypass surgery.
“[The doctors] are actually surprised he’s still alive,” said Mateo’s daughter Noralyn Koahou.
“The surgeon who did the surgery said this was his first sextuple bypass in his career,” Koahou said.
Mateo said he remembers waking up in the hospital a few days later.
His family told him how quickly hotel security and paramedics arrived to help.
“The fire department, Engine 32, arrived shortly after and they revived me because I died in the streets of Las Vegas and they did a remarkable job in saving my life,” Mateo said.
The first paramedic to make contact with Mateo was a first-year trainee with the Las Vegas Fire Department.
“I found him, he had a pulse and was breathing on his own, then he woke up and then we gave him some medications, secured his airway for him, and then continued care from security,” Dean Lawson said.
Once Mateo was released from Sunrise Hospital, he went to the fire station to thank the crew who saved him.
“The fire department gave me a second chance to enjoy my three kids and 17 grandkids,” Mateo said. “I’m thankful I still have an opportunity to go home and enjoy my friends and family.”
“They’re our heroes and I will always be grateful,” said his wife Clarissa.
The family is still in Las Vegas, they’re hoping the cardiologist will give Danny clearance to return to Maui within the week.