BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — On Monday, Aaron Hornsby expressed his gratitude to the Bloomington Fire Department for saving his life.

“You are my heroes. And my family and I are eternally grateful to each and every one of you,” said Hornsby.

Fifty-three-year-old Hornsby went into cardiac arrest in November after a morning workout. His wife Christine and son Max took turns administering CPR until help arrived.

“He saw what was going on and said, ‘Okay mom I got compressions you do breaths let’s do this.’ And he was calm and an amazing young man that day,” said Christine.

First responders spent more than 35 minutes giving Hornsby CPR until transporting him to the hospital. The chances of survival looked slim and if he survived a full recovery was even slimmer.

“The ICU nurse was very honest and blunt with me and said, ‘this isn’t a good outlook. You should probably plan to have your husband in a nursing home because he will most likely lose brain function and organ function. He won’t be able to be on his own,'” Christine said.

Hornsby not only survived but recovered without any lasting effects. He made it his mission to thank the first responders who saved his life.

“I truly wanted to do it. I thought I needed to do it the more I found out how rare my circumstances are,” said Hornsby.

The first responders are appreciative that Hornsby took the time to tell them thanks.

“It’s an incredible thing. One of the main things that is a problem with being on the dispatching side is you don’t get to see the end result of cases,” said Bloomington Dispatcher Kevin Busfield.

Hornsby’s miraculous outcome and thanks are motivation to first responders.

“It keeps the drive going. Like I said it’s few and far in between that we get this good of an outcome,” said EMS Supervisor Derick Riordan.

Bloomington Fire Department responded to 166 cardiac arrest calls last year.