Archive for May, 2009

Coach & Paramedics Save Teenager during Baseball Game

Posted by cocreator on May 30, 2009
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We will be reporting on lives saved around the world since our first documented life saved here in Singapore.

Will Orndorff the Survivor

Will Orndorff the Survivor

Senior Will Orndorff’s chest met sophomore Shelden Stickley’s head as both went for a fly ball in the outfield during practice March 31 at Sandy Hook Elementary School’s fields.

While Stickley suffered a concussion, Orndorff had to be airlifted to Winchester Medical Center. He had suffered a rare condition known as commotio cordis, in which the heart’s rhythm becomes irregular.

Luckily for Orndorff, a coach performed manual CPR until rescue workers arrived and shocked his heart.

Orndorff is doing well and plans to go to Bridgewater College in the fall and play football, his father said.

“You would never know anything ever happened,” Jack Orndorff said. “Everybody’s quick action from the coaches to the rescue squad to the helicopter, and everybody involved in the hospital, everybody was very proactive. Everything we’ve been told was everything had to work together and it did, and he was very fortunate.”

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Colleagues & Paramedics Save Woman at Work

Posted by cocreator on May 30, 2009
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We will be reporting on lives saved around the world since our first documented life saved here in Singapore.

Her co-workers feared the worst when they found her collapsed on the floor.

I found her laying on the floor, she was quite discolored, and truthfully – can I say this? – I thought she was dead,” Sunny Hawkins, a co-worker and former maternity ward nurse, said.

“We all thought she was,” fellow co-worker Lori Humphrey said.

Hawkins used a breathing mask to force oxygen into Niemeyer’s lungs. A co-worker did chest compressions to keep her blood pumping. A defibrillator had been brought over by the time the paramedics arrived, a minute or two after Humphrey made the 911 call.

Six days later, Niemeyer woke up in Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.

“The team really deserves some credit, I’ll tell you,” Niemeyer said. “It is amazing. Until I woke up, they didn’t know how long I’d been without oxygen.”

Paramedics revived Niemeyer with a defibrillator and restored a pulse before taking her to the hospital, where she was intentionally kept unconscious for days. She now has a pacemaker.

Hawkins insists the entire thing was a miracle: Someone found Niemeyer before she had gone too long without oxygen, the safety officers were nearby, the paramedics arrived immediately, and Niemeyer was taken to a hospital that specializes in cardiac care.

But all that shouldn’t take away from the ability of the average person to save a life, Hawkins added.

“Don’t think you have to do it perfectly,” she said. “If you think you can intervene and help someone, err on that side.”

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School Saves Athelete during Wrestling Match

Posted by cocreator on May 28, 2009
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We will be reporting on lives saved around the world since our first documented life saved here in Singapore.

Olajuwon “OJ” Somerville helped take his Sabis International Charter School wrestling team to top last year.

The 17-year-old was a star-athlete crushing the competition…until his heart stopped after a match in January.

OJ’s memory fails him trying to remember the days leading up to his near-death experience, “I really don’t remember much from that day.”

So one could imagine the shock that OJ felt, after learning how his coaches, parents and students brought him back to life, and then to hear he could never compete again.

I woke up at the hospital three days later they told me I had a heart attack,” recalled Somerville.

If it weren’t for quick action, CPR and an AED defibrillator, he wouldn’t be alive today. “It’s vital because it could save a lot of lives. In fact, there was a kid that had a heart attack before me and died because he didn’t have one,” said Somerville.

In the wake of OJ’s life and death scare last winter, more students at Sabis have come forward asking they be trained in these live saving techniques. “I have a handful of students interested in taking CPR after OJ. We started three years ago training all staff,” said Sabis nurse Kathleen Dupuis.

“The benefit it gave us saving OJ’s life, to me, it makes sense,” said wrestling coach Alex Seid.

For OJ and his school, this was one life or death match where teamwork lead to victory.

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Dentist & Firefighters Save Man during Basketball Game

Posted by cocreator on May 25, 2009
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We will be reporting on lives saved around the world since our first documented life saved here in Singapore.

Rick Rockwood (center) with his Saviours

Rick Rockwood (center) with his Saviours

Rick Rockwood was back having fun playing noon basketball at the Boys and Girls Club of Duluth on Friday on the same court where he died six months ago.

Duluth firefighters, trained as emergency medical technicians, were there Friday, too, but only for photographs this time. The last time they responded to the gym to see Rockwood they brought him back to life.

Rockwood, 57, had a heart attack during noon basketball on Nov. 28.

He had played in one game and was getting ready to start another. “All of a sudden I grabbed my face and said, ‘Uh-oh guys, I need help.’ They said I was gone before I hit the floor. It’s the widow-maker [an occluded artery] that got me. It was a fatal heart attack, meaning I had died. I had gone.’’

George Balach, a Duluth dentist who was there to play basketball, started performing CPR as someone else called 911.

Duluth Fire Station No. 2 is only 1½ blocks away, and firefighters were there in less than a minute, said Capt. Joel Heikes of the Fire Department. Heikes, fire equipment operator Brad Bushey and firefighter Alex Owen arrived with an external heart defibrillator, used to shock the heart to make it beat after it has stopped.

“I had an out-of-body experience,’’ Rockwood said. “I was standing and all the guys were around me and I guess they were praying. I was watching the EMTs get the defibrillator out. They cut my jersey off.’’

In reality, the firefighters found Rockwood on his back with Balach performing CPR. “That’s a key to a successful story — quick CPR and quick defibrillation,’’ Heikes said. “We continued CPR while I was getting out the defibrillator. We confirmed that he had no pulse. We analyzed it and it advised us to shock him, and after the first shock we got a pulse back. We put an airway in. That was great. It doesn’t happen all the time like that, but that was great.’’

The father of three adult sons said he had no history of heart problems or any health-related issue. He was adopted, and for that reason he scheduled regular physicals because he had no family medical history.

“I had no burn marks and no brain damage, although that’s debatable according to the guys I play basketball with,’’ he said of being zapped by the defibrillator.

“My biggest point is that George and those firefighters saved my life. If they wouldn’t have been there and the firefighters wouldn’t have had the quality training that they did, I would be dead — period.

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High School Principal Saves Man in Car

Posted by cocreator on May 21, 2009
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We will be reporting on lives saved around the world since our first documented life saved here in Singapore.

Nanette Hagen the Saviour

Nanette Hagen the Saviour

At about 11:30 a.m. Friday, one of the school’s secretaries notified St. Helens High School principal Nanette Hagen that a man was out in front of the school asking for help for his friend who was having a heart attack. The men had driven up to the school and parked in the fire lane in search of aid.

“I got his feet up here and I was immediately down on my knees. Felt for a pulse and checked for breathing and started chest compressions immediately,” says Hagen.

The high school principal immediately sent a couple of students inside to have someone bring out the school’s automatic defibrillator.

With the help of a fellow staff member, a retired firefighter, they followed the machines directions. When the defibrillator indicated the man needed an electric shock to keep his heart pumping, Hagen didn’t hesitate.

She then continued chest compressions until paramedics arrived.

“At the time, I just responded,” she said.

Hagen’s actions sustained the man’s life long enough for him to get to Good Samaritan Hospital.

“I sure wish I knew what the outcome was,” Hagen said.

Although the administrator shies away from the word hero, she is glad she was able to help the man as best as she could.

“It’s nice to know people think we have trained folks here,” Hagen said.

The school has multiple people trained to do exactly what Hagen did: an emergency response team that includes multiple teachers and classified staff. Glen Boles, a member of the team and a campus monitor, helped Hagen administer the defibrillator.

“We can say we did absolutely everything we could,” Hagen said.


It would be days before she’d receive confirmation of her success.

A phone call from a family member of the victim brought her to tears.

“She said he made it. He’s still having a little bit of issues, but he made it. I just started crying.”

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