By Andy Metzger
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
BOSTON -- A Quincy family on Wednesday thanked the MBTA CPR instructor who saved the life of Kevin Bossart and the customer service representative who held his hand after a heart attack on the stairs at Wollaston Station.
"He has a long road ahead of him still," his mother Trish Bossart told reporters after CPR instructor Tomas Gonzales and customer service representative Karen Kane were honored by the MassDOT Board.
Kevin's brother is in training to become a Quincy police officer, his mother works for the Quincy Department of Public Works, and his sister Katherine Bossart is a nurse at Boston Children's Hospital.
Gonzales said he was not feeling well on Jan. 27, and thought about calling in sick, but he was there soon after Kevin collapsed on the stairs, giving him mouth-to-mouth for 15 minutes before other emergency personnel took over. Kevin was taken to Quincy Medical Center, then moved to Brigham and Women's and hopes to be able to leave the hospital and begin rehab in the next few days.
Gonzales said saving a life with CPR was a new experience for him, and his training kicked in.
"I've done it on many mannequins," said Gonzales, who said the MBTA is seeking to train its workers in the life-saving technique.
MBTA spokeswoman Kelly Smith said MassDOT is hoping to at some point have all its workers trained in CPR and said more than 2,500 employees have been trained so far. She said CPR instructors usually don't staff stations, but Gonzales was at the station because Jan. 27 was particularly cold.
"If it wasn't for them, we might not have Kevin," said Katherine, who attended the MassDOT ceremony with her mother.
Trish Bossart said "as a mother" she particularly wanted to thank Kane for holding his hand through the ordeal, letting him know he was not alone.
She also said her son has a genetic disorder, which caused the heart attack. "His heart simply stopped on that sixth step," Trish said.