Edward Kazinsky, 69, doesn’t remember anything about Dec. 16, 2011. Those who saved his life will never forget.
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The gym at Decatur High School was a flurry of activity as a boys basketball game against Foss was about to begin. Kazinsky, in his black and white referee stripes, was preparing to officiate the game.
Just before the tip-off, Kazinsky collapsed on the court from sudden cardiac arrest. He was unconscious and not breathing. Immediately, a handful of good Samaritans sprang into action. Decatur staff members Heather White, Sherilyn Olson, Nami Headland and Sian Fankhauser, along with parent Bobbie McLain and a bus driver from Foss, rushed to Kazinsky’s side.
An Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) was located and used, while McLain and Fankhauser began CPR. They continued to work on Kazinsky for about 20 minutes until paramedics arrived at the scene. Paramedics were able to restore Kazinsky’s breathing and transported him to the hospital.
Now, nearly four months later, Kazinsky is on the road to recovery. He tires a little more easily. And he’s a little forgetful sometimes. But he feels better every day. He’s been working outside on his property and playing cribbage. He’s hoping his doctor will clear him to officiate basketball again next fall.
Kazinsky is grateful for all those who came to his aid at Decatur that day. “I thank them for my life,” he said. “They say I’m a miracle to be alive.”
“The true heroes in my opinion are the people who administered CPR on my husband,” Jane Kazinsky said. “They kept him alive until medical services arrived. Our family is so grateful for everything they did to help. He is alive today because of them. Words cannot express how grateful we are to everyone who helped Ed during this crisis. Thank you to all.”