Student thanks police officer on her graduation day

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Student thanks police officer on her graduation day. Annie McCormick reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on May 13, 2017.

A very special commencement ceremony took place Saturday morning at Harcum College when a graduating student was reunited with the police officer who saved her life.

Lower Merion Police Officer Jeff Sullivan and 20-year-old Annie Fitzpatrick embraced moments after she officially graduated from Harcum College.

"I'm here and graduating and I'm proud of myself and thankful for Officer Sullivan," said Fitzpatrick.

Sullivan happened to be at a Wawa on February 12th when Fitzpatrick passed out and went into cardiac arrest.

Sullivan had just left a training to use AEDs, Automated External Defibrillators.

"He pulled into the Wawa right when I collapsed into cardiac arrest. If he wasn't there then I wouldn't have survived because Wawa didn't have an AED, but he did in his car," said Fitzpatrick.

"She's a great example of someone making the most of a second chance at life," said Officer Sullivan.

Fitzpatrick had been misdiagnosed for years, and, after this event, learned she suffers from a heart rhythm disorder that can trigger a heart attack.

With her second chance at life, Fitzpatrick is also working to make the device that saved her available at more places.

Officer Sullivan said, "In addition to everything she's accomplished in school, she's very active in having AEDs placed in places where that can happen."

"I'm here because of him and I'm going to keep doing that," said Fitzpatrick.

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educationpennsylvania newsgraduationheart diseasecollegepolice officer
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