Archive for January, 2011

Cops Save Man with Pacemaker at Home

Posted by cocreator on January 31, 2011
Events / No Comments

A frantic call to police Monday morning in Newton Falls forced officers to use special training to save a life.

Sgt. Rick Lisum and Officer Dave Garvey were called to a house on Bane just after 7 a.m. after a man with a pacemaker suffered a heart attack in his dining room.

When police arrived, 60-year-old Daniel Lee Bowers had no pulse and was not breathing. That’s when Garvey started CPR and Lisum ran to his squad car to grab a defibrillator.

“He basically brought the AED back in and as he turned it on it talks you right through it,” said Newton Falls police officer Dave Garvey. “I just continued with compressions and called my dispatch to let them know the patient was in full arrest, and we just keep doing what we had to do till the fire guys got there.”

Bowers shook hands with Sgt. Rick Lisum of the Newton Galls Police Department, who was one of the rescuers.

“The reason why I’m here is to thank these people personally for saving my life, because I’m 60 years old,” said Bowers. “I don’t want to die yet…permanently die anyway.”

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School Trainer Saves Referee at Basketball Game

Posted by cocreator on January 29, 2011
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Thursday’s girl’s basketball game at O’Gorman High School seemed like just another contest in a long basketball season. But, when the game reached halftime, the action off the court got much more attention than anything on the court.

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Referee Dan Sudbeck was part of a three-man crew working Thursday’s O’Gorman-Yankton basketball game. He retreated to the coach’s lounge at halftime and sat down in this chair. But soon, his fellow refs noticed Sudbeck was slumping to the floor. Trainer Rochelle Lauret came in from the other room with the school’s defibrillator.

“I had the shirt cut straight up and had the AED on him immediately,” Lauret said. “And then, the machine just takes care of everything after that. It assesses whether there’s a shockable heart rhythm, so it just took care of it and told me what to do basically.”

“We stood back and pushed the button, and all it took was one shot,” said Lauret, in her 12th year as O’Gorman’s athletic trainer. “We continued to do compressions, but you could tell he was breathing on his own after that. When the EMTs got there, he was already answering questions about his medical history.”

“Our referees’ room is five feet from the defibrilator in our training room, so the logistics were fine, but just having them in the building, I can see now that can save lives,” O’Gorman athletic director Steve Kueter said.

Kueter says Lauret’s been a trainer for the Knights for more than a decade. And her quick thinking made the best out of a very bad situation.

“I usually have it on the bench with me at the game and it’s underneath my chair,” Lauret said. “But that night, I had not taken it out there with me for some reason. And so, I just grabbed it, I was probably 15 feet away from him with my AED.”

O’Gorman has three defibrillators on campus, provided by local health partners. While Lauret’s been trained with them, Thursday night was the first time she had had ever used one in an emergency.

“The further away from it I get, the more freaked out I get,” Lauret said. “But I also told my family I want to carry it with me everywhere I go. I just feel like I have to have it with me now because I’m like, you never know.”

The scene on Thursday night not only reminded people of the importance of a defibrillator, but of life in general.

“It makes you rethink a lot of things,” Kueter said. “And the idea of providing the equipment and providing the training has always been there, but now it’s just become much more of a priority in our minds from last night how good that is.”

The Sudbeck family released a statement Friday afternoon thanking everyone for their prayers and concerns. Dan underwent bypass surgery and is currently resting.

“I sat down, maybe a minute or two and it felt like I was going to faint,” Sudbeck said.

In fact he remembers everything up until that point, up until his heart just stopped.

He had no chest pain, no shortness of breath. The next thing he remembers is commotion in the coach’s lounge and people asking if he knew where he was.

“I said ‘yea I’m at OG, the score is 29-28.’ And then one of them said, ‘do you remember getting shocked?’ And I said, ‘shocked? No I don’t remember getting shocked!'” Sudbeck said.

“I couldn’t have been in a better situation. I mean I’ve got two qualified trainers that are there, we’ve got a defibrillator right there. I’m two miles from the Heart Hospital. I mean the stars were aligned perfectly that night,” Sudbeck said.

“I think without that AED, I probably would not be here,” Sudbeck said.

Coincidentally, working with the Avera Heart Hospital and Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, Sudbeck’s wife Pat had been instrumental in getting AEDs placed in schools, churches and businesses and teaching people how to use them.

“I always knew my training would impact somebody I knew or somebody I loved. But I never dreamt in a hundred years that would be my own husband,” Pat said.

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Hotel Events Manager Saves Guest

Posted by cocreator on January 28, 2011
Events / No Comments

George Best’s younger brother has paid tribute to a hotel manager who saved his life.

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Ian Best (44) was staying at Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool with his wife on January 11 when he suffered a heart attack.

While having a drink at the bar Mr Best began to feel sick, his vision blurred and he lost consciousness.

Fortunately hotel events manager Mark Brockbank was on hand. He grabbed a defibrillator and sprang into action, keeping the supermarket manager alive until an ambulance arrived.

Mark said: “I was trained by the ambulance service and it just took over.”

Ian, who lives in Torquay, said: “There will never be the words to express my thanks.

“If it wasn’t for Mark and the fact the hotel had a defibrillator, I could have been going back down the motorway in a coffin.”

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Military Personnel Save Private Contractor in Camp

Posted by cocreator on January 28, 2011
Events / No Comments

The call for a medical assist echoed over the radio strapped to 22-year-old, Camp Atterbury Military Police Officer Spc. Stephen Strebinger’s right shoulder on the rainy afternoon. “Roger, I’m en route,” replied the South Bend, Ind., native as he flipped on his siren and lights. He sped to the location relayed to him. He arrived on the scene and immediately began assessing the situation. He noticed a man laid back in the driver’s seat of a minivan, unconscious. The van’s engine was off but the keys were still in the ignition and the door was unlocked.

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Strebinger took action. He removed the man’s seat belt and began checking his vitals. “Look, listen, feel, just like in training,” said Strebinger, remembering that day. The man was not breathing and had no pulse. “At that point my mind went blank,” said Strebinger. “Thinking went out the window and my training just kind of kicked in.”

Mark Trowbridge the Survivor with Saviour Stephen Strebinger

Three years earlier, Strebinger’s father died of heart failure and because of this loss, Strebinger prepared himself for the very situation that occurred in September. The loss inspired him to learn to save lives and perhaps follow in his father’s professional footsteps as a caregiver. His father was a registered nurse at the intensive care unit of the Memorial Hospital of South Bend. “Some of the nurses [at his father’s place of employment] that I’ve been really good friends with for some time, got me into a couple of classes,” said Strebinger. He earned certifications to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation and to use an automated external defibrillator, techniques and tools used to revive patients who have stopped breathing or are in cardiac arrest or both.

As a military police officer he was also required to take the military healthcare provider course at Camp Atterbury. Additionally, Strebinger volunteered and took the Army’s combat lifesaver’s course. The scenarios he had trained for were now a reality. He ran back to his patrol vehicle that day to retrieve the defibrillator and protective breathing mask. The automated external defibrillator, or AED, is a tool that automatically diagnoses heart rhythm and determines if a shock is needed, guiding the user through a step-by-step electronic voice prompt.

Strebinger returned to the dying man with the lifesaving equipment. He used his knife to cut the patient’s shirt open just as the Camp Atterbury medics arrived at the scene. Wasting no time, he placed the paddles accordingly, one on the man’s side and one on his chest, allowing the machine to measure his vitals. “The AED told us to stand clear as it took his vitals and seven to 10 seconds later it told us ‘shock advised’,” said Strebinger.

Strebinger initiated the shock and was successful in restoring the man’s heartbeat less than four minutes from arriving on the scene. “I got on the radio, reported the shock and called for a [medical evacuation],” he said. The patient, however, still wasn’t breathing. Strebinger worked with the medics, taking turns applying mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, breathing into the man’s lungs ensuring that precious oxygen was pumping to the man’s brain. Simultaneously, as more MPs arrived on the scene, he ordered them to cordon off the street so that a helicopter from Columbus Regional Hospital could use a landing pad across the street and evacuate the patient. But as they waited for the helicopter, the rain began to pour.

The helicopter was grounded. They would need to send for a ground ambulance instead to come as fast as it could to evacuate the patient. Meanwhile, Strebinger and the medics continued taking turns giving mouth-to-mouth to the patient. “At that time the man began breathing again,” said Strebinger. “The medics applied suction to his mouth. He was falling in and out of consciousness but he had a strong heart beat.” The civilian ambulance arrived on the scene shortly after and began readying him for evacuation.

The patient was safely and successfully escorted to the Columbus Regional Hospital in Columbus, about 10 miles north of Camp Atterbury. “His family stopped by four days after the event and gave all of the medics and officers that responded to the call that day a personalized written card thanking us with their children’s signatures on it,” said Strebinger. “We were glad to know he was ok.” Strebinger was awarded the Indiana Distinguished Service Medal on Jan. 7 for his actions that rainy September afternoon.

Present at the ceremony was Mark Trowbridge, the man that Strebinger shocked back to life. Also there was the Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Center for Complex Operations Commander Brig. Gen. Clif Tooley as well as Camp Atterbury’s Commander Col. Todd Townsend and Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney Spade. Trowbridge had suffered a heart attack and he spent three weeks recovering with his wife and three children. He later returned to work at his job as an electronics technician on post. “First of all, we’re so grateful for all of the Soldiers out here risking their lives to keep us safe,” said Trowbridge. “That is the reason I took this job up here,” he said. “I decided ‘Hey, it’s time for me to give back to the guys that have been protecting me and my family.’

The fact that they really [actually] saved my life.” Trowbridge paused. “My family and I couldn’t be more grateful.” Strebinger has since earned a nickname among the other members of his unit since the dramatic events that took place last fall. “We call him the doctor,” said Staff Sgt. Royce Wagner, Camp Atterbury military police non-commissioned officer in charge. “It was a very proud moment for me as a supervisor. He was extremely knowledgeable and professional in knowing what he needed to do as an MP to help preserve the safety, security and health of our Soldiers and civilians here.

I think he is extremely deserving of his award.” Still, Strebinger remains humble and stays ready to face situations of this nature in the future. “It’s not every day a Soldier gets this award but to me I was just doing my job,” said Strebinger. “I am grateful that I was able to carry out my duties that day.” “It’s not something that I would want to do again,” said Strebinger, “But if it does arise it makes me feel good that I was able to help somebody out like that. He has a family. If I hadn’t gotten there fast enough or if the equipment failed.

I know what that family would have gone through. My father died of a heart attack and I couldn’t do anything about it. It’s a good feeling to know that we saved that family from going through that grief.”

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School Saves Teen during Basketball Practice

Posted by cocreator on January 24, 2011
Events / No Comments

As a member of the Terre Haute Police Department, Dan Walls has dealt with crisis and seen the face of death all too often.

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But he never anticipated that one day, a life-and-death situation would involve his own son, Daniel, a 14-year-old eighth-grader at Chauncey Rose Middle School.

Daniel Walls the Survivor

Detective Walls happens to be the school’s police liaison officer.

During a Jan. 3 basketball practice at the school, Daniel suddenly collapsed. In the words of principal Greg Gauer, “It went south pretty quickly.”

Soon, the boy stopped breathing and his heart stopped beating. His face turned blue, and then purple.

Quick action by school personnel, who used an Automated External Defibrillator and CPR, saved the boy’s life. The Terre Haute Fire Department and Union Hospital emergency room staff also played critical roles. Those involved are calling it the “Miracle at Chauncey Rose.”

Daniel’s heartbeat and breathing had been restored before he was airlifted to Riley Hospital for Children, where he remained for five days. He was back in school Jan. 12.

While he now has a defibrillator implanted in his chest, he is otherwise OK. As it turns out, the otherwise perfectly healthy 14-year-old had sudden cardiac arrest.

This is Gauer’s first year as a principal, and the life-threatening situation involving one of his students is one he will never forget.

As events unfolded, “I was scared to death for him. I thought a few times we lost him. We all did,” Gauer recalled. “Several of us in the gym were hoping and praying we were doing the right thing at the right time … I think the good Lord was with us at Chauncey Rose that day.”

The basketball workout was typical, nothing out of the ordinary, but soon after it began, Daniel collapsed, according to Doug Stagg, the eighth-grade basketball coach.

Initially, school officials thought it might have been a seizure, but the youth had no history of it and no other health problems, according to family.

Emergency responders were en route, but Daniel’s condition was rapidly deteriorating. “He [Daniel] turned blue quickly and purple even more quickly. We needed to make a move,” Gauer said. “He had stopped breathing and his heart had stopped. We checked his vitals, everywhere we could for a pulse.”

Daniel had none.

At that point, Gauer and Stagg knew they had to react. Gauer began chest compressions and Stagg got the AED, which was close by.

Gauer and Richard Moothery, an education assistant, removed Daniel’s shirt, while Stagg put pads with sensors on Daniel’s chest. “Once the machine had declared it necessary to shock him, I knew it was a really serious situation. The machine won’t shock anyone unless there is no rhythm,” Gauer said.

After that, Gauer and Stagg continued CPR — Gauer did chest compressions, while Stagg administered breaths of air.

Although it “seemed like an eternity,” Gauer said, the Terre Haute Fire Department quickly arrived and took over. The emergency responders used breathing equipment, continued chest compressions and got him into an ambulance.

Gauer rode in the ambulance with Daniel, and on the way to Union Hospital, the defibrillator shocked the boy again.

Detective Walls had gone to pick up his daughter and planned to return to Chauncey Rose when he learned his son had collapsed.

En route to the school, he received another call informing him of the gravity of the situation.

He turned his police lights and siren on, praying as he drove. When he arrived, his son was lying on the gym floor, a defibrillator had administered a shock and Terre Haute Fire Department emergency responders were preparing to take his son to the hospital.

Walls, who also is a pastor and chaplain, laid his hands on his son and prayed. “I’ve seen the face of death too often. I saw it on my son’s face,” he said. As he prayed, “I asked God to touch his life.”

Gauer said he, too, was praying. “Everybody in that gym was praying in their own way,” he said.

What happened that day was nothing short of a miracle, Dan Walls said.

“God did a miracle and had everything in place to sustain his life,” he said. “If it was going to happen, it happened in the right place.”

Even medical staff at Riley Hospital agreed the quick response saved Daniel’s life.

Daniel’s father praised the school district leadership for deciding to install AEDs in all schools, and he praised staff who have been trained on how to use them. “It saved my son’s life,” he said.

Daniel doesn’t remember what happened.

His father says there was “some depletion of oxygen to the brain, but it was minimal.” There was some short-term memory loss, but doctors say he will be fine. He had no heart damage.

Doctors did have to put an implantable defibrillator in his chest, something he will have for the rest of his life. “Kids that have this are prone to have it again,” Dan Walls said.

Daniel’s mother, Felicia, a teacher at Turkey Run Junior-Senior High, said she is “thankful and overjoyed for the quick response of Coach Stagg and Principal Gauer.”

The school community also provided Daniel with much support while he was recovering, and that included cards and e-mails. It meant a lot to Daniel to know that people cared about him, she said.

Although Daniel doesn’t remember what transpired, he said he’s amazed by what happened. “It’s a miracle that I’m alive,” he said.

While he’s somewhat disappointed he probably can’t continue with athletics, “I have to go on with life,” the 14-year-old said, and he has other interests.

“God has other plans for your life,” Dan Walls told his son.

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