American Airlines employee, former firefighter saves two lives in one day

An American Airlines Customer Service Manager is being hailed a hero after saving two lives at the same place on the same day.

Christofer Hatcu is a former volunteer firefighter who said he was in the right place at the right time.                   

"I've never had this happen to me," Hatcu said.

Complete strangers, Christopher Hatcu and Paul Gonnelli's time together was marked by a miracle.

"He's just an amazing person," said Gonnelli, who went into cardiac arrest at the airport in January.  "He was right there.  He knew exactly what to do."

"I just tried to help," said Hatcu, who administered CPR.  "That's all I was trying to do.  I was doing what anyone would do if they were in need."

Christofer Hatcu is pure proof that not all superheros are superhuman.

"I guess it's just, I was in the right place at the right time," said Hatcu.

Call it coincidental, but the consequences surrounding this uncommon occurrence is a sign that it wasn't Paul Gonelli's time.

"They weren't ready for me," he said.

On January 22, Paul was flying from Florida to Kentucky.  His connection was in Charlotte.

"I don't even remember getting on the plane in Tampa," said Gonelli.  "My memory was gone for four days-- I didn't wake up until Thursday in the hospital."

While trekking through the terminal, Paul went into cardiac arrest.

"There was no warning, I wasn't sick," Gonelli said.  "It was just a regular day -- and something turned off."

"I kept screaming, 'I can't lose my dad...I can't lose my dad," said Gonelli's Daughter, Nicole Rikard.

Chris was finishing up his shift as a Piedmont Airlines Ramp Manager and arrived in the nick of time.

"Nobody knew what was going I checked his pulse," said Hatcu.  "He didn't have one and I started doing CPR."

Chris continued until EMTs arrived and couldn't believe what happened next.

"Someone else was having a heart attack, so we went and assisted the next person," said Hatcu.

Two different men, two different lives -- saved by this one person in the same day.

"When I finally met him, I gave him a hug and we both came to tears," said Gonelli.  "It was emotional."

A guardian angel, hailed a real American hero, whose swift actions kept two men alive.

"I couldn't lose him," said Rikard.  "And I thank God he's here."

"Chris, God bless you," said Gonelli.  "Thank you.  I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you."

Chris was presented with the American Airlines Real American Hero Award and a check for $1,000 at an event honoring him Tuesday.