Caledonia teen makes full recovery after suffering heart attack

Posted at 9:44 PM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 22:32:44-04

KENT COUNTY, Mich.-- Nearly five months after suffering a heart attack at school, a Caledonia High School senior is back to doing what he loves.

17-year-old Peter Lombardo suffered a heart attack during gym class and is alive today thanks to quick action by his teachers and the use of an AED.

Lombardo didn't know he was born with an irregular heart beat and because of the heart attack, didn't know if he'd ever return to full health. However, he made a full recovery within a few weeks and is back to doing what he loves.

Fishing is something Peter Lombardo has loved to do since a young age. He went out with his dad and uncle when he was young and has been hooked ever since.

Thursday was a normal afternoon out on Reed's Lake for Lombardo.

"This will be my fourth day in a row out on the water," said Peter Lombardo.

It's afternoons like this he didn't know if he'd ever have again.

"There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about what's happened to me and how lucky I am," said Peter.

In December, the Caledonia High School senior suffered a heart attack during gym class.

"I got a call from the school saying your son has collapsed, has no pulse, no heartbeat and 911's been called," said Jennifer Lombardo, Peter's mother.

Peter was born with an irregular heart beat, something his family never knew until it nearly killed him. Thanks to his teachers who shocked him with a defibrillator, Peter regained consciousness and has since made a full recovery. He had to have surgery four days after the heart attack to put in an internal defibrillator.

"There isn't a day that goes by that I don't count my blessings and thank God for have everyone there at the right time and the right place," said Jennifer.

Now that Peter was able to continue doing what he loves, he ended up starting a fishing club at Caledonia High School.

"It's kind of neat leaving something behind," said Peter. "It's relaxing and fun. It's action most of the time. There's days where you go out and don't catch anything, but it's always a different lake and different atmosphere."

Whether he catches a fish or not, Peter is just thankful to be out on the water.

"Something about being out there gives me time to reflect and think of how lucky I am compared to a lot of other kids out there," said Peter.

Peter is going to be studying mechanical engineering at Grand Valley State University next year and will also be a member of their fishing team.