Blackbutt grandfather Bruce Fenwick wouldn't be alive if it weren't for the NSW Ambulance call taker who calmly instructed his frantic son on effective CPR until paramedics arrived.
The 60-year-old would ultimately receive 60 minutes of CPR - including paramedics' efforts - and his heart would be shocked into rhythm a dozen times.
"People don't usually survive that," said NSW Ambulance intensive care paramedic Oliver Aleman, who was part of the team called to Mr Fenwick's home on January 29.
This week, having been released from hospital, Mr Fenwick was able to thank members of that life-saving team - as well as meet Sydney call taker Danni Costa, who's still a trainee.
He'll forever be thankful too to his son Ash, 22, and wife Cindy, who did all the right things despite the distress they were under watching him turn blue, and gasp for breath.
"Someone told me to go buy a Lotto ticket but the fact I'm still here feels like I've won the Lotto already," he said.
"It's hard to put into words how I feel, but I'm so very grateful. If it wasn't for everyone's efforts I wouldn't be here."
Mrs Fenwick also thanked the paramedics - who arrived within six minutes of her calling Triple Zero - and the coronary care team at Wollongong Hospital.
"No one gave up on him - from the call taker who had to listen to me screaming and talked Ash through CPR; to the paramedics who worked on him at home and on the way to hospital; to the doctors and nurses at the hospital," she said.
"I remember standing outside the doors at the hospital while it was touch-and-go, waiting for them to come out and say he'd gone. But they saved his life."
Mr Fenwick had been about to drive to his son's house in the early evening of January 29, when he felt a bit lightheaded so went back inside.
"He came in and sat down and I saw sweat starting to bead on his forehead," his wife said. "I got the blood pressure monitor out and the figures went right up before it flashed red, with an error message.
"Bruce said to me 'you better call Triple Zero' and handed me his phone."
She opened the screen which was on a family chat, so she quickly messaged her son who lives close by before calling for an ambulance.
"When the call was answered Bruce started gasping for air and turned blue and I started screaming," she said. "Then Ash came through the door and took over."
It wasn't an easy trip to hospital with paramedics having to use a defibrillator to shock Mr Fenwick's heart nine times - he would receive another three shocks in hospital.
"It was a real team effort with family members, specialist paramedics and coronary nurses and doctors working to stabilise him," Acting Inspector Aleman said.
"To see him back here, alive and well, is enough for us, but for him to make the effort to come and thank us is really special."
Mr Fenwick's specialists are looking at options to keep him healthy, such as a pacemaker, but he'll be forever grateful for the skill and training of the emergency teams.
Insp Aleman also paid thanks to his fellow paramedics who attended the incident - Christopher Barren, David Gibson, Tony Ryan, Rob Sainsbury, Jacinta Burke, Jodie Heino and Tony Hilliar.