By Stephanie Stahl

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — A South Jersey elementary school teacher is reunited with her students who are credited with helping save her life. Doctors say the 10- and 11-year-olds did exactly the right thing by getting quick help for their teacher from the adults who were nearby.

Lots of hugs for teacher Sandra Witzak at Atlantic Community Charter School.

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“We’re happy to see her back in the classroom,” student Alijah Warder said.

Witzak was welcomed back after a near-fatal cardiac arrest that happened in front of her students.

“Coming back to this — can’t beat it for anything in the world,” she said.

This is where her survival started when the kids jumped into action when their 51-year-old teacher passed out in October.

“All I remember is that she fell over,” student Jameer Robinson said.

The students quickly got help and were taken out of the room while adults at the school trained in CPR worked on Witzak.

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With cardiac arrest, when the heart stops, performing CPR more than doubles someone’s chance of survival.

An AED that shocks the heart was also used by paramedics.

“The addition of AED along with bystander CPR can make a huge difference in the odds of survival along with that rapid call to 911, of course,” said Dr. Joseph Ornato with the American Heart Association.

The fifth-grade teacher, who now has a pacemaker and defibrillator, only remembers waking up at the hospital.

“They were like ‘welcome back.’ I’m like, welcome back from where? They’re like, ‘Welcome back from the dead, you died for six minutes,'” Witzak said. “I’m going, to be honest, I had seen my parents when I was technically deceased. They kept telling me to go back. That was a little unnerving, but they sent me back for a reason because I’m meant to come back to be with my students.”

Witzak says she’ll be forever grateful to her students and colleagues for saving her life.

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Doctors say she’s lucky because many people don’t survive cardiac arrest.

Stephanie Stahl