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Watch: Violinist performs for medical staff who saved his life

Michael Tropepe was resuscitated by paramedics after going into cardiac arrest, and spent 10 days at Orange Park Medical Center

violinist michael tropepe orange park medical center mct florida times-union

Violinist Michael Tropepe performs at Orange Park Medical Center for healthcare staff who saved his life after he went into cardiac arrest in December.

Photo/Orange Park Medical Center

David Crumpler
The Florida Times-Union

ORANGE PARK, Fla. — Violinist Michael Tropepe, who received lifesaving care at Orange Park Medical Center after collapsing at home Dec. 5 due to a heart condition, returned to the hospital this month to perform a small concert for the health care team that saved his life.

Tropepe was diagnosed last year with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a disorder in which an electrical abnormality in the heart causes a rapid heartbeat. It usually isn’t serious, he said, and life-threatening problems are rare.

But he hadn’t been feeling well when he collapsed at home in Orange Park. His girlfriend, Marvette Rose Henderson, called 911 and began working to resuscitate him. When paramedics arrived, they found him pulseless and resuscitated him through CPR. Tropepe was rushed to Orange Park Medical Center and placed on life support.

The medical team treated Tropepe for 10 days, five of which were spent in the ICU. Their lifesaving measures, including a cardiac ablation, helped him recover fully. After Tropepe returned home, ER physician Justin Deaton asked whether he would be interested in performing for the medical workers who treated him.

Tropepe eagerly embraced the idea.

“It was really an emotional concert for me,” he said. “I wanted to say through music what I could not say through words. I was fortunate to have a way to show them [his gratitude] through more than just words.”

Tropepe performed several classical compositions, accompanied on two selections by Henderson, who is also a violinist. The couple had been living in New York before moving to Orange Park in April to be with family and try to wait out the pandemic.

He is now looking for opportunities to perform again. “I made a full recovery,” Tropepe said. “I am so lucky, and it’s an indicator of how Orange Park [Medical Center] has no weakness in the chain from paramedics to doctors.”