Amidst the Phillies celebration, a life saved-Philadelphia News

CENTER CITY; Nov. 9, 2008

Imagine being in the throng of 2 million people at the Phillies victory parade, only to suffer a heart attack.

It happened to Joe Sayres, a former Juniata Park resident now living in Sunbury, Pa. that's 2 and a half hours away.

He was at the Phillies 1980 victory parade, and wanted his 13 and 10 year-old sons to experience sports history, so they came down for the parade.

The crowd was so dense, he took turns lifting the boys so they could see, and then -

"After the last float, I started feeling sick, and I just started shaking," Sayres told Action News reporter Cathy Gandolfo.

It happened in front of the Doubletree hotel.

The 49-year-old Sayres sat on the ground, and managed to touch the back of a hotel worker going through a door. The worker immediately came to his aid, giving him water, calling 911, and taking care of Sayres' children.

"From the time I felt sick, till the ambulance came, I felt so safe," Sayres recalled.

Paramedics got the ambulance into the masssive crowd, and rushed Sayres to Jefferson University Hospital.

Within 45 minutes, Dr. Mike Savage performed a balloon angioplasty to open a blocked heart artery. He inserted a stent to keep it open.

Sayres and Dr. Savage were able to joke about it afterward.

But Sayres became emotional when he told Action News about his life-threatening and life-saving experience.

He says he'll never forget that sunny Friday when the City of Champions went a step further.

"I said to my wife, this is really the City of Brotherly Love."

Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.