Christmas miracle meeting

January 18, 2008 4:03:14 PM PST
An emotional meeting of two primary players in a Christmas Eve miracle took place in Somers Point. It was a chance for James Spruill to say thank you to David Pond for his part in helping to save his life on Christmas Eve at Shore Memorial Hospital.

"I thank God that he was there at the right time to help me out. And as for the doctors, you can't beat them," Spruill of Pleasantville, N.J., said.

56-year-old Spruill had a ruptured aortic aneurysm that was spotted during a cat scan.

"They knew that the abnormality should not have been there. Right away, they took that to the radiologist who confirmed it," Director of Radiology, Derek Suragh, said.

Rushed to the E.R., vascular surgeon Jeffrey Gosin saw the four inch aneurysm and decided that inserting a stent graft was the best and least invasive way to proceed. However, hospitals don't stock the stents, which come in different sizes and cost about $11,000 a piece.

"Looking at the scans, it was apparent to me that if we had this type of device available he would've a candidate for it, so I made the telephone call," Dr. Gosin said.

David Pond, a medical supply representative, was doing some last minute Christmas shopping at the Cherry Hill mall when he got the call. He left presents behind and rushed to Shore Memorial to deliver a life saving gift.

"If it were my father or anybody else close to me, I would want somebody to help if they could," Pond of W.L. Gore Medical Supply Company said.

About 15,000 people a year die from ruptured aortic aneurysms but James Spruill was grateful not be one.

"I told my kids, God has been to good to you all; I am their Christmas present," Spruill said.

Spruill spent Christmas in the hospital, but was released the next day with a new lease on life and a new friend.