Grandfather

Teen Saves Grandfather at Home

Posted by cocreator on June 09, 2014
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On a Thursday at Riverside High School, Shelby Morgan learned CPR. That Friday, she learned how to use an automated external defibrillator, which can deliver a lifesaving shock to the heart.

Richard Morgan the Survivor Shelby Morgan the Saviour

Richard Morgan the Survivor Shelby Morgan the Saviour

The following Monday, she saved her grandpa.

A lot of other people saved Dick Morgan, too: the first responders who arrived at his Shadle home on Feb. 10 and shocked his heart back into rhythm, the hospital crew who treated him, cooling his body to slow neurological function and protect his brain after his cardiac arrest, and reporting his prognosis to his family in terms of if – if he recovered, not when.

A 10th-grader at the Riverside Achievement Center, an alternative school in the Riverside School District, Shelby Morgan does most her schoolwork at home. She was at the high school – among three schools in a program launched by Fire District 4 to teach CPR to students – for the training.

It was fresh in her mind when her grandfather collapsed in his kitchen.

“You know how sometimes you just go into a mode of just doing what you have to do? She sure kept her cool,” said Arena Morgan, Shelby’s grandmother.

“It was a key to his survival,” she said.

Shelby’s mother, Deborah Morgan, died in April 2012 of cancer. She lives with her father, Gregg Morgan, in Chattaroy but spends a lot of time at her grandparents’ house.

Diana Bostrum, a teacher at the alternative school who’s known Shelby for about 10 years, called the save “an amazing thing,” but not surprising.

“There’s this calm, mature girl, being adult again,” Bostrum said. “There she is. Composure … that is huge in the heat of the moment, to be able to do it after you just learned it – on a person that you absolutely adore.”

But Feb. 10 was a snowy day, which meant Dick Morgan, 78, spent the morning outdoors with his snowblower.

He remembers coming inside from the cold, through a back door into the kitchen.

“I told my wife, ‘Honey, I’m getting too old to do this anymore,’ ” Dick Morgan said. “I always do my neighborhood. Most of the people are old. So am I, but I didn’t know that until this happened.”

Arena Morgan was in the kitchen, too. Shelby was in the adjacent family room.

Arena remembers her husband leaning against the kitchen table.

“I almost said, ‘Tough one today, honey,’ ” she said, “and he reached for a chair, and he just toppled over backwards and quit breathing.”

Arena yelled for her granddaughter to call 911. “She said, ‘I already have, Grandma,’ ” Arena said.

Those minutes after her grandfather toppled over went by in a blur, Shelby said. At the same time, the minutes until professional rescuers arrived seemed to last an hour, forever.

She said she asked someone on the phone, a dispatcher or a paramedic, whether to start CPR, and they said yes and talked with her as she pressed her grandfather’s chest.

Shelby remembers he was wearing a lot of layers – a coat, sweatshirts, a vest, a T-shirt. The layers made it difficult. Looking back, she said, she thinks she did a better job on the dummy at school.

But her grandmother said the professionals who treated Dick Morgan have credited Shelby with saving him.

“They’re saying that’s what kept him going,” Arena Morgan said. “I kind of went into hysteria, panic, and she just kept her cool. She said she was really churning on the inside, but you would have never known it.”

The Morgans’ experience demonstrates the potential impact of CPR training, said Dr. Joel Edminster, medical director for Fire District 4 and an emergency department doctor at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

“This is a perfect example of sudden cardiac arrest that would have resulted in a fatality or severe neurological dysfunction” without CPR, he said.

The result of an electrical problem that disrupts the heart’s rhythm and pumping action, cardiac arrest stops perfusion, or blood flow to the heart and brain. Heart attacks and cardiac arrest aren’t the same, although heart attacks – when a blood clot blocks blood from flowing through a coronary artery – often cause cardiac arrest.

Not everyone in cardiac arrest can be saved. Some bad heart rhythms cannot be corrected by an electric shock.

But when a victim can be saved, CPR is key. While that used to mean alternating chest compressions with rescue breaths, research has found hands-only CPR – resuscitation without mouth-to-mouth breaths – is more effective.

By pushing hard and fast in the center of the victim’s chest, a bystander can re-establish blood flow to the victim’s heart and brain, buying time until they can be shocked.

On Dick Morgan, rescuers had to use their defibrillator just once, said Ryan Schaefer, a registered nurse and the electrophysiology coordinator at Sacred Heart. Schaefer nominated Shelby for her Young Hero Award.

“With one shock they were able to restore his normal rhythm,” he said. “That is ideal.”

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Coach & Teachers Save Grandfather Spectator at Granddaughter Basketball Game

Posted by cocreator on February 24, 2014
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A heart attack lasts just minutes, but it was the hours before the game at Anderson Elementary Tuesday night that saved the life of a Sand Springs grandfather.


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At a fourth-grade basketball game on Tuesday night, a man watching his granddaughter play had a heart attack.

Witnesses said what happened next is all thanks to God’s timing.

When minutes mattered at an Anderson Elementary basketball game the staff was ready.

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“You saved a life. I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s really hit home yet or anything,” basketball coach Harold Dotson said. “It’s just, with the training that we had fresh in our mind, it just kicked in, so we just did what we had to do.”

Coincidentally, on Monday Seven Anderson teachers including Dotson, learned CPR.

On Tuesday, the school got its first defibrillator.

“We put that over here in case of some kind of emergency like that, which, you never thought you would use it in any case,” Dotson said.

That night, as the game got underway, a Sand Springs grandfather in the stands started slumping over.

“So I ran over kind of to see what was going on, and they mentioned they thought he was having a seizure,” teacher Athena Martin said.

A teacher grabbed the defibrillator and Dotson jumped into action.

“The training just kicked in and we got him flat down on the bleachers,” Dotson said. “His breathing stopped, so I started administering CPR. … With the Lord’s help, we got him going.”

P.E. Teacher Susan Croston was inspired by a former colleague to get a defibrillator in the school.

“We had a counselor here that passed away last summer. Her name was Catie McGoldrick,” Croston said.

McGoldrick died of cancer, but she was concerned about her heart.

“She had a serious heart condition and she always said, ‘If my heart goes out of rhythm, I’m in trouble.’ And ever since I first met her eight or 10 years ago, I knew we needed to get an AED here at school,” Croston said.

Superintendent Brett Banker says they got their defibrillator just in time and other schools shouldn’t hesitate to do the same.

“Find it in your budget to get one, they’re obviously worth anything you pay for it,” he said.

First responders say that the staff’s CPR training and use of the defibrillator saved the man’s life.

That grandfather suffered a massive heart attack, but he is doing fine now.

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Bystanders Save Grandfather in School

Posted by cocreator on December 13, 2013
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Ted Summerfield, of Kelso, had been attending the school to collect his grandson Denzel, shortly before 3pm on February 28, 2012, when he suffered a cardiac arrest.


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The grandfather of four said he had experienced no warning signs in the lead-up to his arrest.

“I didn’t feel a thing. We (with wife Cherie) are building a house and in the morning I’d been round and
picked out the bricks and the wife said to me, ‘Do you want to go and pick Denzel up or will I?’ I said I’d go across and grab him.

“And that was it. I cannot remember even falling over.”

Fortunately, parent Libby Dawes saw Mr Summerfield fall and immediately went to his aid, joined by Brett Griffiths, Joe Luchetti, Gabriella Billington, Tony Challita and Amanda Sheward.

“I was just there to pick up my daughter when he collapsed next to me and hit his head. Another man was there and we both ran to him. There was quite a bit of blood and we noticed he was very blue. We put him in to the recovery position straight away because he was knocked out.

“I rang Triple Zero (000) and the call taker was just fabulous. She gave me the confidence to keep going.”

Remarkably, the school had only weeks earlier purchased a defibrillator, which was quickly retrieved from the office by a member of the team.

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NSW Ambulance Acting Inspector Adam Parker, Bathurst Station Officer Matthew Bray and Paramedics Christian Stokes and Jason Speight were on scene within four minutes of Mrs Dawes’ call and continued the treatment.

“The bystanders did effective CPR and were able to get one shock into him. When we got there we continued with CPR and administered a further shock which put him back into a sinus rhythm (normal heartbeat),” A/Insp Parker said.

He said that as Mr Summerfield’s collapse coincided with sounding of the school bell, moves were made to protect the children as they departed. “We quickly retrieved a few blankets from the ambulance and got a couple of parents to hold them up to shield the students from witnessing what was unfolding.”

He praised the work of the community members involved in Mr Summerfield’s treatment. “In these situations, seconds count. If not for their quick response, it is quite possible he would not be with us today.”

Mrs Dawes, a teacher at the Scots School Bathurst, said she employed first aid skills learned at school courses, which in recent years has included the use of a defibrillator.

“I’ve done that training for 25 years and never had to use it until now. I think the defibrillator really did save the patient’s life. Although we were doing the CPR, I think that helped him stay with us until the ambos arrived. I was very appreciative of the school having one.”

Mrs Dawes said she was proud to have assisted in saving a person’s life. “It’s a good feeling. The family has also made contact since to thank me, which was lovely.”

A/Insp Parker and Paramedic Bray, who also have children at the school, returned the following week to speak with a group of about 50 students, to help minimise any trauma they might have suffered.

“We had been advised that a number of the students witnessed some of what had occurred and were quite traumatised. We offered them the opportunity to ask any questions they might have, look at the equipment we used and educate them on what we were doing,” Insp Parker said.

Mr Summerfield said the first thing he knew of the arrest was waking up in hospital four days later. To this day, he has not met the people who helped save his life.

“I haven’t been game to return to the school. But, my word, I am so grateful to them – to the people at the school and the paramedics.

“Today I feel great. They put a defibrillator in – down at RPA (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital) – and I’m going really well.”

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Nurses Save Grandfather at Football Game

Posted by cocreator on October 27, 2012
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Brenda Martin credits the Bethlehem Raiders athletic association with saving her husband’s life.


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If not for the association’s recognition at a September 2011 Liberty High School football game, her husband, Lee, would have been home when he suffered his heart attack, not at the game to watch his granddaughter’s event.

He wouldn’t have been in the company of several certified nurses whose children are association members and came to his assistance or anywhere near an automated external defibrillator, that doctors credit in saving the 71-year-old Bethlehem resident’s life.

Lee Martin the Survivor

The Martin family wants other Bethlehem sport spectators to be as fortunate as they were. So a couple of months after Lee’s heart attack, they started an effort to contact AED companies to ask for a donated defibrillator for the Bethlehem Raiders, which is without one at its Lewis Street facility.

“God put him in the Raiders’ hands the night of the game, no doubt about it. Had we not been there, he wouldn’t have survived,” Brenda Martin said. “We knew when this all happened, we wanted to do more than say thank you.”

Finding a company willing to donate an AED wasn’t easy. Martin’s daughter, Leann Marakovits, reached out to many companies without getting a response before she got an affirmative answer from Newtown, Pa.-based company HeartSine Technologies.

HeartSine runs a program called Forward Hearts that allows heart attack survivors saved by an AED to donate a defibrillator to an organization of their choice. The program is generally restricted to people who were saved by a HeartSine AED, but the company was so moved by Martin’s story that it agreed to donate one to the Bethlehem Raiders in his honor, said Whitney Brostrom, the company’s manager of marketing and sales support.

The AED HeartSine donated Tuesday to the team sells for $1,255, she said.

Bethlehem Raiders President and Coach Tom Picone said the team never really thought about owning an AED before Martin’s heart attack and wouldn’t have been able to afford one on its own.

“We’re so grateful you made this happen,” he told the Martin family.

As Lee Martin pointed out — “There’s a lot of old people here every week, like me” — and Marakovits said the regular significant Saturday spectators alone warrant having one.

“That’s definitely a blessing, if something happens on the field with the children, or with the family,” said Bethlehem Raiders parent Stacie Dancho.

Dancho was among the nurses who have children on the team — Melissa Crenko and Joe Pastor are the others — who helped save Martin during his heart attack by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him before an AED was brought from Liberty’s gym. Despite the merits of CPR, having a defibrillator on-hand is even more crucial, Dancho said.

“The first words out of my mouth were ‘Get the AED,’” she said. “Early defibrillation makes the difference.”

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Cops, Firefighter & Nurse Save Grandfather in School

Posted by cocreator on September 27, 2012
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Peter Clarke, 61, originally from Oldcastle, Co. Meath, was dropping his granddaughters off at Trinity Regional School in East Northport shortly after 8:30 a.m. when he suddenly began to feel queasy close to the main foyer of the entrance.


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“I just didn’t feel good for five seconds,” the Smithtown resident told the Irish Voice.

Clarke then collapsed onto the floor. But in a fortunate twist of fate, he was soon surrounded by emergency personnel.

Two off-duty police officers, an off-duty firefighter and a school nurse were on hand to treat Clarke. In another stroke of luck, a defibrillator was hanging within arm’s reach of where Clarke collapsed.

“Without that defibrillator I was dead,” Clarke said.

Northport Police Officer Pete Howard explained to the Irish Voice how the crisis unfolded as he dropped his 4-year-old daughter off at school.

“There were 20 or 30 parents there; it was pretty crowded as I walked by the main desk,” he recalled.

“A minute later from the corner of my eye I see this older gentleman fall flat forward on his face. Out of instinct I ran over there,” said Howard, who has been a member of the Northport Police Department for 16 years.

Acting on instinct, Howard turned Clarke on his back to open his airways, and immediately recognized the grandfather.

“I screamed for someone to call 911 and asked for an AED,” Howard recalls.

School nurse Kathy Schildhorn, MTA Police Lieutenant Alex Lindsay and Greenlawn Fire Department advanced life support (ALS) provider Mario Geddes were on hand to assist.

“We knew he was in cardiac arrest right away,” said Howard.

The team of medical personnel worked on Clarke, shocking him three times in attempts to restart his heart.

“After the third shock he opened his eyes and asked what happened,” recalls Howard.

Clarke, who blacked out, recalls little of the drama. “I remember I saw black, like a tunnel, not any of that white crap, and next thing I was gone,” he said.

“When I woke up I asked what happened and I recognized Pete Howard,” the grandfather recalls.

Clarke had to ignore his instincts to get up when he was instructed to remain still until the ambulance arrived.

“The Irish are very stubborn and I am not good with doctors,” said Clarke, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1972.

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