, Salem, MA

Local News

March 14, 2014

Peabody officer commended for helping save a life

PEABODY — The last thing 58-year-old David Silveira remembers before waking up in a room in Salem Hospital last month is that he was snowblowing his driveway when a young man approached him about having his carpets cleaned to pay for a scholarship.

“Through the conversation, I went down, and I woke up in the hospital,” said Silveira, who suffered a heart attack late in the afternoon of Feb. 18.

“Thank God for the police and fire departments,” said Silveira, a machinist who works for Magellan Aerospace in Haverhill and who is home recuperating after having an defibrillator implanted in his abdomen to treat irregular heartbeats.

“I’m talking to you. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been,” he said.

One of those who helped save Silveira’s life is Peabody Patrolman Matthew Stark.

Yesterday, the department announced that Stark is being commended for saving the grandfather of four, who went into full cardiac and respiratory arrest outside his Beckett Street home.

“Officer Stark’s calm demeanor under pressure helped save Mr. Silveira’s life,” wrote acting Peabody police Chief Robert St. Pierre. “There is not a greater service one can perform than to save another person’s life. Officer Stark is to be commended for his efforts, and professionalism, as his actions are in keeping with the highest standards of the Peabody Police Department.”

“I got singled out,” said Stark, 47, “but the credit goes to the family because the key ... is immediate CPR, followed by early defibrillator if it’s available, but the key is bystander CPR.”

Just a few minutes can make a difference, Stark said.

“The credit really goes to the family and the neighbors,” Stark said. “They kept their heads, they stayed cool, and they called right away ... they had the wherewithal to do CPR right away, and they were doing good CPR.”

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