November 30, 2017
By Ralph Cipriano
It took a near-death experience to convince retired Philadelphia police detective Joe Walsh that he couldn’t keep quiet anymore about what he knew.
It was June 11, 2015, just another sunny day down at the Jersey Shore, when Walsh suddenly felt severe pain in his jaw. An old Army buddy noticed the color had drained from Walsh’s face, told him “Sit down!” and called 911.
In the ambulance, a paramedic asked Walsh if he liked the T-shirt he was wearing. “Not particularly,” Walsh replied. “That’s good,” the paramedic said, before he cut it off with scissors. “He hooked me up [to a monitor], and that’s all I remember,” Walsh says. “Everything went white.”When he came to minutes later, Walsh heard an emergency medical technician say, “Come on, Joe, keep breathing.” Then he heard the paramedic say that when he woke up, he was going to think he’d been kicked in the chest by a horse.
During that ambulance ride, Walsh’s heart stopped beating for two and a half minutes; it took two jolts from a defibrillator to get it going again.The ambulance raced to the Cape May Court House Armory, so Walsh could be flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery. Doctors there implanted two stents in the left coronary artery and gave Walsh morphine for the pain in his chest.As he recovered from his heart attack, he endured two painful back operations. And while he dealt with all his physical pain, Walsh realized something else was bothering him: his conscience.
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