Referee Brought Back to Life Returns to the Field

By Kyle Inskeep

Published 08/15 2014 10:20PM

Updated 08/18 2014 08:01AM

This is how Joe Calderazzo last left the football field.

"I thought I was dying, I did," Calderazzo said.

This is how the Washington,Indiana native returned Friday night.

It's August 15th.

Exactly nine months to the day Calderazzo collapsed on a Carmel football field after suffering a heart attack.
"That didn't even cross my mind today, you're absolutely right," Calderazzo said. 

By some accounts the 63-year-old was dead on the field for close to three minutes.

"Give me a little more credit than that, two minutes the EMT and paramedics up there were absolutely wonderful," Calderazzo said.

He obviously remembers things a little differently.

But there's one thing everyone agrees on.

"If we'd have been anywhere else that football night he'd a never made it," Wayne Patterson, a referee on the field with Calderazzo the night he collapsed said. 

"He was literally dead and they brought him back," Mike Bezy, who was on on the field that night said.

"No one disputes the fact that where this happened, it happened at a place that where I could not have gotten more help, more quickly," Calderazzo said.

A practicing pediatrician, Dr.Joe says he was crazy to ignore the warning signs of his heart problems.

"How about blatant stupidity, nobody stops a semi-state for chest pain, that's what I was thinking," Calderazzo said.

Now he's vowing to make the most of what he calls a second chance at life.

"The first thing I say when I get up each morning is thank you dear Lord for another day maybe that I wasn't supposed to have," Calderazzo said. 

 And right now that means spending every Friday right here under the lights.

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