Golf Course

Friends Save Man on Golf Course

Posted by cocreator on February 07, 2014
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An amateur golfer has paid tribute to a group of “hero” friends who jumped to his aid when he suffered a life-threatening heart attack.

Alan Driscoll the Survivor &Tony Real, Bryan Job & John Williams the Saviours

Alan Driscoll the Survivor &Tony Real, Bryan Job & John Williams the Saviours

Alan Driscoll, a keen member of Pontypridd Golf Club, almost died when he went into cardiac arrest on the seventh hole.

But luckily four of the 58-year-old’s golfing companions came to his aid and performed CPR for 25 minutes until paramedics arrived.

It is thought Mr Driscoll, a former chartered surveyor, only had a 10% chance of making a full recovery after doctors later found a large blood clot in a pulmonary artery.

“The simple truth is they saved my life – they are my heroes,” said Mr Driscoll.

“I may have suffered broken ribs as a result of the CPR, but it’s not a bad trade-off for my life.

“These men have been friends of mine for the past 40-odd years and I won’t be able to thank them enough.

“I have learnt never to take friendship – or the social side of golf – for granted.”

Mr Driscoll was taking part in a pairs competition when he collapsed.

His teammate, ex-policeman John Williams, along with golfers Tony Williams and Tony Real, called an ambulance and immediately began working on their unconscious friend.

The club’s vice-chairman Brian Job, an ex-marine, then joined them to carry out a fraught 25-minutes of CPR. Once paramedics arrived, they shocked Alan twice with a defibrillator before an Air Ambulance crew took him to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

At the hospital an ice blanket was placed over Mr Driscoll to lower his body temperature and keep his organs functioning.

He was given a coronary angioplasty and a stent to keep his arteries clear, before being discharged from hospital six days after he collapsed. He is now undergoing regular physiotherapy until his broken ribs mend and is expected to make a 100% recovery after the January 4 attack.

“I’ve been to the golf club a couple of times since,” he said. “The first time was pretty emotional as people were telling me what a fright I’d given them. But, of course, I don’t remember any of it. We’ve all shared a drop of whisky together and hopefully at some stage I’ll be back playing golf.

“But I’m going to wait until the weather improves!”

Pontypridd Golf Club, which was established in 1905, hopes to raise money to buy a defibrillator to store in the clubhouse.

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Fellow Golfers Save Elder Partner on Golf Course

Posted by cocreator on June 26, 2012
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Father-of-two Dave Pugh, 39, of Mold, sprang into action when Trevor Slinger, 76 and his playing partner, collapsed and stopped breathing at Mold Golf Club.


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Mr Pugh phoned an ambulance and sprinted to the clubhouse to get a defibrillator machine while Mr Slinger was in the care of fellow golfers Joannie Adams and Elaine Concannon.

It took three shocks before Mr Slinger began breathing again.

He has since spent six weeks in hospital and undergone a multiple heart bypass.

Trevor Slinger the Survivor and Dave Pugh the Saviour

Mr Slinger, from Buckley, said: “If it hadn’t been for Dave and the club having a defibrillator, I wouldn’t be here today.

“It all happened so quickly – we were walking from the green where I had scored a three when I saw stars.

“The next thing I knew was when I woke up in hospital several days later.”

Mr Slinger was reunited with his life-savers at Mold Golf Club where they were officially thanked for their actions by president John Hughes.

Mr Hughes told Mr Pugh: “You acted with great presence of mind when you recognised that resuscitation would not be enough to revive your playing partner.

“You went on to use your first aid skills to operate our defibrillator machine and persisted with your efforts until you restarted his heart and saw signs of life.”

Letters of thanks were presented to Joannie Adams and Elaine Concannon and another sent to Trawsfynydd Golf Society in recognition of their members’ contribution to the life-saving efforts.

Mr Pugh, a production operator at Kellogg’s, Wrexham, is a trained first-aider and had taken a refresher course on resuscitation just one week before Mr Slinger’s collapse.

He said: “I never wanted recognition for what I did because it was touch and go for him for quite a while, but I must admit I did feel a sense of achievement when I later met him out and about with his wife.

“I think that every golf club and indeed every sporting facility should have a defibrillator machine with staff trained to use it.

“When I visit other golf courses I now ask as a matter of course if they have one.”

Mr Slinger is making a good recovery from his operation.

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Friends & Staff Save Golf Pro on Golf Course

Posted by cocreator on June 25, 2012
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Fred Elliott, one of the area’s most respected and well-liked golf pros, should have died on May 23. At least that’s what the numbers tell us.


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He was playing in the Sierra Nevada Chapter’s Match Play Championship at Hidden Valley and had just arrived at the 12th tee when he dropped.

“I heard a thump,” said fellow pro Chase Stigall, who was in the foursome along with Stuart Smith and Greg Wenzel. “It’s very weird talking about it. He was flat as a board. His eyes had rolled back into his head.”

Dr. Devang Desai, an interventional cardiologist who worked on Elliott after he was transported to Renown Medical Center, said the odds aren’t good for someone in Elliott’s shoes, a 66-year-old man whose family has a history of heart issues suffering cardiac arrest miles from the nearest hospital.

Desai said Seattle has one of the best success rates in reviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. Still, 83 percent die. And of the 17 percent who survive, many suffer varying degrees of brain damage because of oxygen deprivation.

“He had sudden cardiac death, basically cardiac arrest,” Desai said. “When the heart stops pumping blood, in layman’s terms, you’re dead.”

But Elliott, a teaching pro at Rosewood Lakes, is more than fine, he’s great. Two stents were placed in a blocked artery, and after nearly a week in the hospital, Elliott went home. He was 10 pounds lighter, but he went home.

“If it hadn’t been for Chase and Stuart and Franco, I’d be dead,” Elliott said.

And it’s all because of an uncanny series of events and other-worldly numerology, if you believe in those sorts of things.

“They kept telling us, if it wasn’t for these guys he never would have made it,” Fred’s wife, Lori Elliott, said.

Hidden Valley had had two defibrillators for some time, one kept in the clubhouse and one in a marshal’s cart. In April, the country club purchased two more automated external defibrillators (AEDs), and at the persistence of member Laurie Newmark, a cardiology nurse, had placed them out on the course. One was near the No. 5 green and No. 6 tee, and the other was between the No. 11 green and No. 12 tee.

Soon after Elliott dropped, Stigall and Smith began CPR. Franco Ruiz, an assistant superintendent, was working around the 11th green when he saw the commotion. He had recently been trained on the AED and quickly retrieved the unit.

“I hear all this yelling, ‘Wake up, Fred!,’ and I thought they were kidding,” Ruiz said. “I just told Chase, ‘Don’t stop.’ …

“When I got there it was really scary. He was purple.”

The AED is programmed to need nothing more than to have someone turn it on and attach the wires. In the next 10-12 minutes, it shocked Elliott three or four times. Meanwhile, another pro had called 911 and an operator was guiding them through life-saving measures.

Elliott began breathing and paramedics arrived. Soon after, an ambulance whisked him away.

“I was rattled the whole rest of the day,” said Stigall, whose PGA certification requires CPR training.

Elliott said he isn’t much of a religious man — “I believe in my fellow man,” he said — but the coincidences left him a bit stupefied.

• It happened just two weeks after Hidden Valley had placed the unit on the course and put its employees through training;

• It happened on the 12th tee box, right next to where the AED was placed on a post;

• Lori Elliott has three holes-in-one, all of them on a No. 12 hole;

• Fred’s stepson, Lori’s son John Turri, has a hole-in-one — at Hidden Valley’s 12th hole — and he wore No. 12 while playing baseball at Nevada.

AEDs can cost anywhere from about $1,000 to more than $4,000. Count Elliott among those who believe it’s a small investment. Since the incident, Sierra Sage in Stead has purchased an AED and keep it with the marshal’s cart. Several other courses in the area have at least one AED.

“The strongest message of all is that (a victim) can be saved,” Sierra Sage owner Mike Mazzaferri said. “It’s good to educate golfers to call the golf shop (in such an emergency) in case they have a defibrillator.”

This is a golf example, but it’s more than a golf story, Desai said.

“You look at any place where people congregate, clearly they need these things,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing — not only do you need the equipment, but you need people who are trained to use it. …

“Most people who suffer out-of-hospital arrest, they die. Those that do survive so often have significant brain damage. Not only did they save his life, but they saved his quality of life.”

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Friend Saves CEO at Golf Course

Posted by cocreator on June 08, 2012
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G. Kelly Nuckols’ friend of 30 years, Paul Price, was at the same golf course with something in his truck that few carry around—a defibrillator, a device that, had it happened just a few weeks earlier, wouldn’t have been much help.

G. Kelly Nuckols (left) the Survivor and Paul Price (right) the Saviour

“I was on the practice tee just hitting a few balls and apparently had a heart attack right there, and fell to my knees,” said Nuckols, 64, president/CEO of Jackson Purchase Energy in Paducah, Ky.

“I was hitting a few wedges and heading back to the golf cart to get my driver. That’s the last thing I remember other than waking up in the emergency room some three hours later.”

Price can fill in the blanks from that April 18 golf outing in Bowling Green with managers of Kentucky’s electric co-ops. He was in the clubhouse but knew something was up when he saw people running toward the practice tee.

An area marketing representative with United Utility Supply Cooperative, Inc., Price is a nationally registered emergency medical technician.

“Luckily, I thought enough to jump in my vehicle, because I knew I had all my medical equipment in my truck,” Price recalled. He drove around the corner and made a terrible discovery.

“I saw Kelly. He was lying on the ground,” Price said. Getting out of his truck he thought it was something minor.

“As I approached, I heard several people saying things like, ‘Breathe, Kelly, breathe!’”

Price quickly discovered that Nuckols had no pulse.

Knowing he would need help, Price asked if anyone knew anything about emergency medicine, and a young man who’d been hitting golf balls stepped forward. Price sent him to get the defibrillator from his truck.

“If you know they’ve been down less than four minutes, the priority is to go ahead and defibrillate first,” rather than perform CPR, Price said. “That first four minutes is a critical time.”

Price also pressed Greg Grissom into service. Grissom, president/CEO of Hickman-Fulton Counties RECC, was kneeling over Nuckols when Price arrived. Price had him rip off Nuckols’ shirt and shave a spot on his chest to attach the defibrillator pads.

“It takes about five to eight seconds for the defibrillator to do its thing. It seemed like an eternity,” Price said. “But I was thrilled when it came back and told me that we had a shockable rhythm. So we delivered his first shock about three minutes into his arrest. And I reached down and he had a pulse.”

Price then asked the young man who got the defibrillator to get him an oral airway, a curved piece of plastic inserted over the tongue, to create an air passage.

“He not only knew what to get out of my bag, but he handed me the right size out of about eight different sizes,” Price said, noting that the fellow later vanished, not waiting around to be thanked.

The situation calmed for about a minute until Nuckols again lost his pulse. Price said it was too soon to use the defibrillator again, so he opted for CPR. After two minutes, Price checked and the defibrillator again indicated there was a shockable rhythm.

“So we defibrillated Kelly a second time. And I felt down and actually had a better pulse than I had previously.” A few minutes later, EMS arrived.

“He’s a great, great guy,” Nuckols said of Price.

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Firefighter Save Man at Golf Resort

Posted by cocreator on March 17, 2012
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Blood rushed out of the back of Greg Castello’s head as he laid motionless on the pavement outside a northwest golf course. An off-duty firefighter who came to Castello’s rescue feared he was too late.


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For six minutes, Castello had stopped breathing. He had no idea Capt. Mike Szoke, 42, was saving his life by performing CPR.

Castello, who was 59 years old at the time, has no recollection of his heart attack on Oct. 10, 2011. He doesn’t remember going to work or opening the black Cadillac Escalade’s door for his passenger. He doesn’t remember clutching his chest, collapsing to the ground and cracking his skull on the cement.

Gregory Castello the Survivor and Capt. Mike Szoke the Saviour

“First question I asked my sister was, ‘Bonnie, did I kill anyone?’” Castello said.

Castello, a limo driver for AWG Ambassadors, a local chauffeur company, was afraid his injuries were from a car crash.

On Monday, Castello visited Szoke at a Flamingo Road fire station, minutes from the Strip. The two men shared a warm embrace and exchanged big smiles. This was the fourth time they’d seen one another since Castello’s heart attack.

“Without Mike being there, my brother would be dead because his heart stopped,” said Bonnie Castello, who was at the station taking photos. “I didn’t think he was going to make it.”

Five months ago, Castello drove his passenger 10 miles northwest of the valley and arrived at the Paiute Golf Resort for a golf tournament.

Szoke never saw Castello collapse from a heart attack, but once he noticed a man passed out on the ground, he took action.

“It just happened so fast,” Szoke said. “I just did anything anybody else would do.”

For five minutes, Szoke continued to do chest compressions and filled Castello’s lungs with air.

Szoke, who works at the golf course in his off-duty time, asked for a defibrillator he knew was inside the golf resort. The firefighter called out to a crowd of about 30 onlookers asking for someone to retrieve the small electrical generator.

Once the defibrillator was in place, Szoke sent a powerful electrical shock straight through Castello’s body. Szoke then performed CPR for another minute until Castello finally took a breath of air.

By then Las Vegas Fire and Rescue and Mercy Air — an emergency helicopter — were on scene and strapping Castello onto a gurney for a flight to Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center.

Castello was hospitalized for 17 days, spending time in both Centennial Hills Hospital and Summerlin Hospital.

Surviving a heart attack has made Castello more self aware and willing to share his story with those around him.

“I’ve been in denial about what’s going on with me for the past 15 years,” said Castello, adding that his heart was clogged with cholesterol.

Castello now walks daily and has made changes to his diet, choosing veggies over red meat. He makes doctor’s appointments and regularly takes medicine for his heart.

“We usually don’t find out the outcome of the patients,” said Szoke, a firefighter of 19 years, adding that reunions of this nature don’t often happen.

Szoke said even though he was off duty, his firefighter training kicked in and compelled him to act.

“I just happened to be at the right place at the right time,” he said.

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