Archive for October, 2011

Bystanders Save Spectator at Sports Match

Posted by cocreator on October 29, 2011
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The life of a spectator at a GAA match was saved at the weekend because the club had a defibrillator which was used to resuscitate the man after he collapsed.


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John Dobbins was on the sidelines watching his team Steelstown play Faughanval when it is thought he suffered a heart attack.

He is now recovering thanks to a series of “miracles” including the presence of doctors, a defibrillator and a passing ambulance.

Mr Dobbins received medical assistance from two doctors within seconds of collapsing.

They were at the match as spectators and used the club’s defibrillator to keep him alive until an ambulance arrived.

Michael Dobbins, speaking on behalf of John, paid tribute to those who saved his life, saying: “I would like to extend sincere thanks to all who came to John’s assistance when he took ill at Sunday’s game at Faughanvale.

“I would like to thank Faughanvale GAA for their quick response and action to the situation.

“A special mention must be given to Jane Carey, John and Artie Kearney, Drs Lee Casey, Dave Flanagan and Mark McCarron, who worked relentlessly with John and kept him alive until the ambulance arrived.

“Because of these people and everyone else who helped, John is in a comfortable and stable condition and making good progress.

Faughanvale club chairman, Eamonn King said every sporting facility should have this life- saving piece of medical equipment.

Mr King said: “We have had a defibrillator at our club for about five years and not every club has them yet, but if ever there was proof that this particular piece of equipment can make a difference in a life-and-death situation then this was it.

“I was on the pitch on Sunday when Mr Dobbins collapsed and the second we realised how serious the situation was, our emergency plan kicked in.

“Miraculously there were two doctors attending the match and another girl with medical training and they were able to administer CPR and, although we do have club members trained in using the defibrillator, on this occasion naturally enough it was the doctors who used it.

“By another miracle, while I was on the phone calling for an ambulance one drove past in the direction of Limavady and I asked if there was any possibility that it could be diverted if it wasn’t on a major emergency.

“Within a few short minutes the ambulance had turned around and was with us and Mr Dobbins was on his way to Altnagelvin Hospital.

“I know defibrillators are expensive. They cost about £1,000 each, but what price do you put on a life? We keep our defibrillator fully charged and easily accessible, not just when there is a match but so that it can be used by anyone.”

“If there is one at the club and it is never needed then that is great, but if you do need it and you have one available then that is even better.

“I would say Mr Dobbins’ family are glad Faughanvale GAA Club had one, but this should be the case in every single sporting facility.”

Dr Dave Flanaghan, Chairman of the Steelstown Club Brian Og’s, backed Mr King’s called for all sports facilities to have the life-saving machines.

He said: “There is no doubt in my mind that the defibrillator helped save John’s life, coupled with the efforts of the Faughanvale members who recognised the value of having trained stewards and maintained equipment.

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Coaches & Teacher Save Teen in School Gym

Posted by cocreator on October 29, 2011
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A tenth grade student is recovering after his heart stopped during open gym Wednesday.


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The student collapsed and his heart had stopped beating. Three of the district’s coaches, one of whom is a teacher, used an automated external defibrillator to bring back the student’s heartbeat, according to a statement from the district.

The student was transported to the hospital for testing and observation, according to the statement.

“The quick actions and combined efforts of our district coaches saved the student’s life,” wrote Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Lauren Hunter in the statement. “For that, we are grateful for their heroism and the emergency training they received through the district.”

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YMCA Staff Save Retiree in Changing Room

Posted by cocreator on October 27, 2011
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There is no doubt in Owen Munro’s mind – if it wasn’t for the defibrillator and well-trained staff at his local gym, he would not be here today.


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Early this year, the retiree, who was then 69, had just finished his workout at the North Shore YMCA and was about to change when his heart stopped beating.

Strini Naidoo the Saviour & Owen Munro the Survivor

“I had no feeling of discomfort, I just switched off, apparently,” he said yesterday.

Mr Munro, who has been going to the gym twice a week for the past 10 years, said the last thing he remembered was going into a toilet cubicle.

“I was going to get changed and literally I fell inside a cubicle,” he said.

“I had no notion. I didn’t feel unwell at all. I went to the gym and the next thing I knew, I had been several days in hospital.”

Fitness business manager Strini Naidoo was one of the first on the scene and played a key role in saving Mr Munro’s life when he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest – something that is different from a heart attack, which he had suffered 18 years ago and is the reason he goes to the gym.

“Some of the members made a noise that somebody had fallen in the changing room. We all rushed in … and I saw his head popping through the [bottom] of the toilet door. I jumped over the cubicle, ripped the door out and pulled him out,” said Mr Naidoo.

“He was just lying there; no movement, and his heartbeat was almost faint to nothing – it was really in a stressed state.”

While juggling calls to St John, Mr Naidoo and his staff performed CPR and used the defibrillator – bought thanks to a Lion Foundation grant last year – to jolt his heart twice.

St John staff arrived soon after and took Mr Munro to hospital in a serious but stable condition.

He underwent a triple bypass and has a device in his chest so if the same thing happens again it will jump-start his heart.

On the day of the drama, the ambulance driver later returned to the YMCA to compliment Mr Naidoo on doing such a good job.

His actions helped save Mr Munro’s life- although he plays down his role.

“You just act to the best of your instinct and that’s what happened,” Mr Naidoo said.

“I don’t want people to make a big deal out of it; it’s all in a day’s work. I think anyone would do it.

“It doesn’t make me feel proud, it doesn’t make me feel excited, I’m just happy for him to be alive.”

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Staff, Nurse & Firefighter Save Man in YMCA Gym

Posted by cocreator on October 27, 2011
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Dan Grecoe celebrated his 43rd birthday last week, and he credits three alert bystanders and a defibrillator with helping him reach the date.


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Grecoe, an Andover resident who lives with his wife Lisa and three daughters, went into sudden cardiac arrest on the morning of Sept. 19 while exercising at the Andover/North Andover YMCA.

Dan Grecoe the Survivor

For about 10 minutes, retired Andover firefighter Richard Hartman and school nurse Rita Casper worked together to perform CPR on Grecoe while YMCA employee Maura Eisenhood used an automatic external defibrillator to help him survive while the paramedics were en route.

“Without Maura and Rita and Richard and this device, I wouldn’t be here with my daughters to celebrate,” Grecoe said, referring to the automatic external defibrillator.

Grecoe was working out at the gym with his friend Paul Davies early on the morning of Sept. 19. He had recently recovered from knee surgery — having his anterior cruciate ligament replaced following a skiing injury — and was given the OK to start running.

He started with the treadmill, running for about six or seven minutes, and said he felt totally winded.

“I chalked that up for not being able to run because of the knee,” Grecoe said.

Grecoe and Davies then switched to the elliptical machines. After about five minutes on the machine, Grecoe started to feel faint.

“I said to (Davies), ‘I’m feeling a little dizzy,’ and that was it,” Grecoe said. “The lights went out.”

Eisenhood, assistant to the sports director at the YMCA and a North Andover resident, said she noticed Grecoe at the gym that morning because he had been using a machine normally taken by another gym regular.

Eisenhood had been wiping down machines when she noticed commotion in his direction. She said when she walked over that she noticed Grecoe was clenching his hands.

“We realized that he was kind of struggling to breathe,” Eisenhood said. “As he was on his side, Rita had come over and said, ‘I’m a registered nurse, I can help.'”

The two sent some other people in the gym to call 911. Hartman, the former deputy chief for the Andover Fire Department, stepped forward to help as well.

Casper, the director of nurses for Andover Public Schools, gave chest compressions while Hartman applied rescue breaths. Eisenhood opened up the defibrillator.

“It tells you what to do,” Eisenhood said. “We followed the directions.”

Eisenhood, 43, has worked at the YMCA branch for six years and has been certified in first aid since high school. She had CPR re-certification at the start of the summer.

“I think I was at ease because I had been trained,” Eisenhood said. “I literally had my hands on the same device months before.”

She applied electric shocks to Grecoe three times while the group worked to keep him alive. Rescue crews arrived and took Grecoe to Lawrence General Hospital, where he has his first memories waking up.

“There’s really no words that can express the gratitude that I have to everyone who came to my aid, from the people at my gym to everybody in Ambulance 1 who responded,” Grecoe said.

Now recovering, Grecoe, a software engineer, has been cleared by his doctors to start walking. He said he hopes to run a 5K race in the future.

Eisenhood said she felt like circumstances aligned for the three to come to Grecoe’s rescue — saving him from a life-threatening situation.

“It just seemed like everything was lined up,” Eisenhood said. “You were at the gym at the right time, Rita was right there, Richard was right there.”

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Cops & Bystander Save Elderly Driver on Freeway

Posted by cocreator on October 24, 2011
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Everyone else already was there when she walked in for roll call Wednesday evening.

Not only was Bolingbrook Officer Regalado late, one of her boots was caked with mud.

I wasn’t there, but I’m sure one of the cops teased that she’d better have a good excuse.

Seems like she did.

State police report that Regalado — whose first name is not being released — was driving her own car to work on Interstate 355 near Route 6 when a blue minivan behind her veered across the road, into a ditch and up the embankment.

Knowing something was wrong, Regalado stopped and returned to find the elderly driver slumped behind the wheel of the locked van.

She called 911 but handed the ringing phone to another man who had stopped to help and had him relay information to the emergency dispatcher as she tried to open the door.

All the doors were locked, so she told another passerby to get her riot baton from her trunk.

That man got the thrill of using police equipment to break the passenger side window while Regalado unlocked the doors.

As the two men pulled the man onto some nearby grass, the officer ran to get the CPR mouth shield from her work bag.

“The victim did not have a pulse that either she or the other man who knew CPR could feel,” reports said. “He was unconscious, unresponsive and his lips and mouth were starting to turn blue.”

They continued CPR until a state trooper arrived.

Regalado asked the trooper if he was carrying a portable defibrillator in his cruiser and told him to get it.

“At that time (I) applied the patches on the designated areas on the victim … plugged in the cord to the pads and hit the button to begin,” she reported. The device was able to steady the rhythm of the senior’s heart.

An ambulance took the victim to Silver Cross Hospital where he was listed in stable condition after suffering a heart attack, reports said.

Regalado returned to her car and drove to Bolingbrook.

“(I) contacted the sergeant’s desk to advise him of the situation and (that I) may be slightly late to work,” she said.

She’ll be written up for it.

But it’ll be a commendation.

“The department is very proud of Officer Regalado’s heroic response. It is obvious her training and experience played a great role in possibily saving this victim’s life. We commend her for her efforts,” Lt. Mike Rompa said.

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