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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Friends & Staff Save Golfer on the Green

Posted by cocreator on May 25, 2011
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It was a gloomy day at the golf course. Upper 40s and windy.

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“It kind of looked like it might rain,” said Chris Edmondson, assistant manager of the golf course at Lake of the Woods in Mahomet.

James Brandenburg the Survivor

Only nine players had come through as of 1:45 p.m. April 4. That’s about the time the phone rang.

Dave Sebestik, assistant golf professional, took the call.

“What?” Edmondson heard Sebestik say. Sebestik hung up and looked at Edmondson.

“Somebody’s down on 17. They called 911 and just wanted to let us know,” Sebestik said.

But the two employees sprang into action.

“I said, ‘Well, we got to get out there,’ and I grabbed the AED, not knowing what was going on. I didn’t know if somebody just fell or what,” Edmondson said. He still doesn’t know why he grabbed it, but the automated external defibrillator was his first thought, just in case it was needed.

Sebestik met Edmondson outside the pro shop with a golf cart. When they reached hole 17, Edmondson saw frequent golfer of Lake of the Woods, James “Jim” Brandenburg, 64, of Mahomet, lying on the ground not breathing. No pulse.

Brandenburg’s playing partners, Mike Wattles and Gary Peterson, both of Mahomet, were administering CPR.

“I told them to step away, because we could hook up the AED,” Edmondson said. “When you put it on, it walks you through. It’s kind of foolproof.”

Edmondson and other nonseasonal employees of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District are trained to operate AEDs as well as practice full first aid.

“I opened it up and put the pads on,” Edmondson continued. “It checked all the vitals, and it said, ‘Administer shock.’

“I told everybody to just kind of stand back and pushed the button. (Jim) gave a little jump and a breath, and I felt he had a little pulse going.”

The AED checked Brandenburg’s vitals again, and it said, “No shock required,” which meant his heart was going.

“Right then, the Cornbelt and EMTs showed up, and they took over CPR. The ambulance showed up, and they got him to the hospital,” Edmonson said.

“During the whole time, I really wasn’t thinking at all, I was just doing what needed to be done as far as I thought, and until the ambulance pulled away, that was when it hit me,” he said. “It kind of was all reaction.”

And it seems it was that way for Brandenburg’s playing partners, Wattles and Peterson, too.

Peterson said the group had just teed off and was half way to the green on 17 — a long par 3 — when he heard a thud behind him. When he turned around, Brandenburg was on the ground.

“It was scary as heck,” he said, noting Brandenburg turned a little blue.

The two friends immediately acted, with Wattles calling 911 and Peterson rolling him on his back to start CPR. Peterson said he had no recent training in CPR, but did what he could.

Wattles had taken a voluntary training program in CPR before, but said 911 dispatchers walked them through what to do to resuscitate Brandenburg.

Wattles said Edmondson then showed up with the defibrillator.

“We were quite frightened, of course,” Wattles said. “I’ve been around death before, but they were in the hospital. Just to have somebody on the ground right there in front of you opens your eyes to how quickly you can be gone without necessarily any symptoms. You need to make your peace with God everyday. I have a strong faith. I certainly prayed for Jim and his family.”

Peterson called his wife, Sharon, who picked up Brandenburg’s wife, Patricia, who met the group at the ambulance.

Patricia rode in the front seat of the Arrow Ambulance and directed them to Provena.

All the way to the hospital, she prayed.

“I can’t imagine my life without him,” she said, noting the two met when they were 14 years old in Watseka. They have been married 45 years.

When they got to the hospital, emergency room doctors took him to heart surgery, where they found he had two block arteries and a third almost entirely blocked. He had a triple bypass as a result.

Patricia called both her sons, who both came as fast as they could. Brad Brandenburg lives in Tampa, Fla., and James Brandenburg, who is in the Air Force, lives in Carlisle, Pa.

“That was the longest day of my life,” Patricia said, noting Gary and Sharon Peterson stayed at the hospital with her until 2 a.m.

Brandenburg woke up the next evening in intensive care.

He said he could hear a nurse named Ted urging him to wake up and telling him he had a heart attack.

Brandenburg’s first reaction was, “You got to be kidding me.”

He said he didn’t recall feeling any pain. He didn’t feel jaw pain or leg pain or arm pain.

“I was playing golf,” he said. “I just hit the ball and the other guy hit his ball, and then we started walking toward the 17th green. And that was it.”

But Brandenburg said he doesn’t remember much of the day — only getting dressed that morning and the first hole.

He did not sustain other injuries or brain damage — even though he jokingly said that was in question before anyway.

“It was unbelievable,” he said. “But everybody was involved.”

Right after the event, the Champaign County Forest Preserve District added two more defibrillators.

They now are near the tower at Lake of the Woods, the golf course, Museum of the Grand Prairie, the maintenance shop at Lake of the Woods, and Middlefork and Homer forest preserves.

“All of these people contributed to me being alive today,” Brandenburg said. “But (Edmondson) was No. 1 as far as starting this heart, because it had stopped.”

He hopes others might hear his story and encourage them to purchase defibrillators for their establishments.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that,” he said.

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Golfers Save Man during Game

Posted by cocreator on August 31, 2010
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Longtime golf partners Ray Gee and Bill Gorman have never known their leisurely Friday night golf league to hold quite so much drama. But, on August 13th, the 8th hole of Conklin Players Club in Conklin, NY, became the scene of a lifesaving rescue when Gee collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest.

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According to Conklin Players Club Owner Theresa Rickard, when Gee collapsed, Gorman immediately started administering CPR, while another golfer, Matt Smith, ran to the clubhouse to retrieve the automated external defibrillator (AED) at the clubhouse.

Gorman, a 29-year volunteer fireman for the Conklin Fire Department, then defibrillated Gee, while Brian Bailey, another member of their foursome, administered chest compressions.

Rickard said, “We’ve had the AED for a couple of years, but have never had to use it. We had it in the lobby – just in case – and I’m so thankful that we did.”

Gee, a structural steel draftsman who resides in Binghamton, NY, and Gorman, an electrician who lives in Conklin, have been friends for 30 years. Gee said, “I’m very lucky that Bill was my partner. Not only is he a great golf partner, but he’s a great human being. He just took complete control of everything.”

Gorman said, “I was a First Responder years ago, and I did have CPR and defibrillator training. But that AED was so easy to use, it didn’t matter. Between the CPR, the defibrillator and the quick response of the ambulance, it was the perfect storm – in a good way.”

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Brother & Golf Course Staff Save Golfer on the Green

Posted by cocreator on July 09, 2010
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Last month Lindstrom was ringing up a customer in the pro shop when someone called to report that a golfer was suffering a heart attack on the course.

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Lindstrom said he immediately remembered there was an automated external defibrillator at the bar, so he grabbed that and headed to the fallen golfer while another worker called paramedics.

“He wasn’t conscious when I got there,” Lindstrom recalled. “He wasn’t responding to anything. He was breathing faint breaths and making a moaning sound.”

The unidentified man was a regular who often played at Maple Meadows, Lindstrom said. When he arrived at the fourth hole, the stricken man’s brother was performing CPR. Lindstrom pulled out to the defibrillator and followed the instructions.

“The first thing it says to you when you open it up is ‘stay calm,'” Lindstrom said. “I didn’t feel like I was freaking out or anything, but other people may have something different to say.”

He attached the machine to the man and a shock was applied.

Lindstrom said the machine appeared to be readying for a second shock when it stopped itself. The man’s heart rate appeared to stabilize after the first shock, and soon Wood Dale Fire Protection District paramedics arrived to take the man to Alexian Brothers Hospital in Elk Grove Village.

“The guy’s brother called the next day to say thank you and he said his brother was in stable condition,” Lindstrom said, “But neither of them have been back since, so we don’t know how he’s doing.”.

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