Stabbing victim thanks Lifeguard, Air Evac

Published 1:16 pm Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Quick actions saved life

The contractor attacked on the Batesville Square three weeks ago during the Up in Smoke Food and Music Festival met with the first responders who saved his life, presenting each with a gift of appreciation and thanking them for their dedication to emergency healthcare.

Chris Brocato was stabbed multiple times earlier this month near the end of the first night of the festival. On Wednesday, May 24, He met with the Lifeguard Ambulance personnel and members of the Air Evac Lifeteam 61, the medical helicopter that transported him to the trauma center in Memphis.

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“I don’t know if anybody ever comes back to say thank you after they go through something like I did, but I wanted to come meet you and shake your hands and tell you thank you,” Brocato said. “That night I couldn’t focus on who you were but I knew you were saving my life.”

Brocato met his life savers at the Air Evac headquarters behind the hospital, and handed out boxes of cheesecake he ordered from Junior’s, a nationally recognized American restaurant made famous by their original location in Brooklyn, New York.

“About fifteen years ago I ate at Juniors in New York and since then I’ve been ordering these cheesecakes whenever something really special comes up, and this is what I wanted to give these men and women,” Brocato said. “It’s not much, but it’s from my heart and if nobody else ever tells you thank you, you are going to hear it from me.”

Members of the helicopter team said they sometimes get cards or letters, and once had an in person visit from a former patient, but Brocato’s gesture was beyond the norm, and touching for those who survived a major trauma.

Lifeguard personnel were stationed just steps from the area where the stabbing happened, and were able to staunch the bleeding while preparing their patient for further care.

“I had just said that we went the whole day and night without having so much as put on a Band Aid and suddenly we needed a lot of Band Aids,” said Mickey Ramsey, director of operations for Lifeguard in Panola County . “Lifeguard was just glad to be where we were and able to do our part for the patient.”

Brocato’s alleged attacker is free on bond, charged with aggravated assault. He and his wife, charged with accessory after the fact, have court dates in early June.