Hotel

Hotel Staff Save Guest in Lobby

Posted by cocreator on January 27, 2014
Events / No Comments

Judy Karaky answered karma’s call with flour on her hands.


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Karaky, The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel general manager, was helping plate desserts for a large luncheon recently when word came of an emergency.

A guest had suffered a heart attack in the lobby.

Karaky rushed to the scene.

Judy Karaky the Saviour

Judy Karaky the Saviour

On the floor lay an 86-year-old man. He wasn’t breathing. Staff members Kerry Kassab, the hotel executive director, and Liz Rupert, a banquet server, were performing CPR on him.

Karaky knew what to do. All her grief and work had been for such a moment.

In 2000, her 15-year-old cousin, Greg Moyer, died from cardiac arrest during halftime of his basketball game. It took a while for an ambulance to reach his rural high school in Shawnee.

He might have lived — if only an automated electronic defibrillator, or AED, had been available.

Afterward, Karaky joined her uncle and aunt in a campaign to install AEDs in public areas throughout Pennsylvania. Working for Penn State Hospitality Services, Karaky helped convince the university in 2001 to buy two AEDs for The Penn Stater and one for the Nittany Lion Inn.

Penn State Hospitality Services also worked with the university to draft a standard AED policy, and had 40 staff members undergo CPR/AED training.

One of the AEDs revived a Penn Stater employee, Terry Confer, in 2002 after he fell unconscious at work.

Twelve years later, another life was saved.

As her colleagues frantically worked, Karaky pulled out a nearby AED unit. Despite her training, she fumbled a bit ripping open the package to get the pads.

“I think a lot of that is nerves,” she said. “You just want to get it right.”

She did.

Settling down, she started the correct procedure. The rescuers applied the AED pads, activated the monitor, cleared everyone from the man and administered a shock.

After more CPR for a few minutes, they sent another jolt.

“By this time, after the second shock, he started to breathe on his own,” Karaky said. “That’s the first thing we noticed. His chest was rising and falling.”

Kassab and Rupert continued CPR until EMTs took over. They responded as quickly as possible, though it was hard to tell for the trio of good Samaritans.

“It seems like you’re there for hours,” Karaky said. “The time goes very slowly.”

While they worked, other staff members pitched in. One fetched a screen to shield the man from view. Karaky said she’s proud of everyone, none more than Kassab and Rupert, who remembered their training and acted decisively.

“I look at that whole situation, and everybody there was the right people at the right time,” Karaky said.

That night, the hospital called. The guest was awake and doing well, far from the brink he teetered on hours before.

“All of us felt really good,” Karaky said.

Before the incident, she had thought that Confer’s rescue had validated her uncle’s and aunt’s continuing crusade for AEDs. Now, thanks in part to a passion born from sorrow, another tragedy had been averted.

Her cousin’s legacy had grown by one more life.

She’s still an advocate for AEDs, for people taking American Red Cross classes and other training that includes instruction on the devices.

“It’s so simple to use,” Karaky said. “You never know where you might be able to jump in and help.”

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Nurses Save Pro Golfer in Hotel

Posted by cocreator on September 30, 2013
Events / No Comments

Golf legend Bernard Gallacher says he owes his life to a hotel having its own heart defibrillator.


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The ex-Ryder Cup captain had a massive coronary as he was about to give an after-dinner speech there.

Bernard, 64, also thanked the “incredible” medics who treated him, including three nurses who were in the room when he collapsed.

He also revealed his family, including Sky Sports host daughter Kirsty and son Jamie, slept on couches at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for a week as they kept a bedside vigil.

The grandfather-of-two has been told he cannot drive for six months and should not play golf for four months “as a precaution”.

Bernard Gallacher the Survivor

Bernard Gallacher the Survivor

But he has no lasting effects from his brush with death and is expected to make a full recovery.

“Golf is off the menu for a while but considering I was dead a few weeks ago it’s amazing to know I’ll get back to a normal life soon,” he said.

“Anyway, it’s not too big a hardship. Winter is coming!”

Bernard said he was feeling well right up to his collapse at the Marcliffe Hotel on August 29.

He added: “I had no pain, no warning of what was coming. People said I suddenly collapsed. They said it looked like I’d been floored by a boxer.

“Three nurses gave me immediate help. The Marcliffe Hotel had a defibrillator on site which was incredibly lucky.

“If it hadn’t been there I wouldn’t be here. These people saved my life.”

Bernard was rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where medics lowered his body temperature in a process called therapeutic hypothermia to save his brain from injury.

He had just been on holiday in Spain with wife Lesley and daughter Kirsty. They were still abroad when he collapsed and had to race by plane to get to his bedside.

The family waited five days for him to regain consciousness and feared they might have lost him.

But they were overjoyed when he slowly came round over three days.

Bernard said staff at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary had been “incredible” throughout and joked: “If you’re going to have a heart attack anywhere, have it in Aberdeen.”

He also said he and the family had been overwhelmed by the support they received.

Now back at home in London Bernard added: “Family, friends and even total strangers kept us going with their good wishes. My family in Scotland were a great help.

“People called the hospital and left messages of support. We also got sent loads of cards and flowers. It’s been very touching.”

He also received support from a host of celebrity pals including golfers Sam Torrance, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald, among others.

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First Responders Save Man in Hotel

Posted by cocreator on June 03, 2011
Events / No Comments

JOSE “Kenny” Martinez owes his life to his friends, to Glenreagh’s volunteer Community First Responders (CFR) and to a quick-thinking publican.

Jose Kenny Martinez the Survivor

The Wells Crossing man had a heart attack while he was having lunch at Glenreagh’s Golden Dog Hotel on January 16 last year.

Fortunately a team of four CFR volunteers was just five minutes away, having just returned from attending a motorcycle accident.

Publican Warren Dean had already phoned the ambulance to report one of his customers was having chest pains.

CFR volunteers Unice McPherson, retired paramedic Geoff Hicks, Judith Hanson and Steve Green performed cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on Mr Martinez and delivered electric shocks to his heart with a defibrillator until the ambulance arrived, stabilised the patient and rushed him to Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

Mr Martinez has since been fitted with a pacemaker and is now in good health, but he’ll never be able to return to his trade or to the punishing work schedule that almost ended his life.

“There’s a computer in there (pacemaker) that tells them what I’ve been doing so I can’t lie, he said

The CFR team earned his gratitude, so too his friends Suzanne Young, Rod Forrest and Lee-Anne Johnston.

“My friends got me out of the property and told me I was working too much,” Kenny said. “They took me to the pub for lunch – otherwise I’d have carked it in my shed.”

Up until his heart attack, the tall, fit 47-year-old boilermaker and welder also operated a portable mill business on his own and was so focused on developing his business and his property he never stopped working.

He said yesterday he had “only just come good” after 10 trips to Sydney for a series of operations.

“I’ve been to hell and back,” he said.

“I keep thinking I’m going to get another shock.”

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Local Hotel Pub Staff Save Elderly Man

Posted by cocreator on June 02, 2011
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Mike Chandler will always have a place in his heart for his mates.


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The 71-year-old Naseby man says he would be dead without their quick actions after he had a heart attack in his local Ancient Briton Hotel last week.

“I wouldn’t be here talking to you, that’s for sure,” he said from his Dunedin Hospital bed yesterday.

“Apparently, I was dead. My heart had stopped and they brought me around. It would have been bye, bye bird.”

Mr Chandler says his life was saved by locals who used a heart defibrillator recently installed in the hotel.

“I was the first customer. I’m very grateful people knew how to use the machine. It was a great thing for me that they did.”

The machine was one of the last items funded by the Maniototo-Wedderburn branch of the Red Cross, before it disbanded last year after 70 years, due to a decline in membership.

Former branch president Lesley Pocknee said yesterday she was thrilled and proud it had proved its worth.

“The whole point of having it was for a situation exactly like this – to save someone’s life that otherwise might not have been saved,” she said.

“When I heard about it, I went cold and crumbly. It was brilliant news.” Mr Chandler said he remembered nothing of the incident.

“Apparently, I was playing bowls on the Thursday night before it happened and I don’t even remember that,” he said.

“All I know is we popped in for a beer for myself and a wine for my wife, Lynette, and I didn’t even get to drink the darned thing.

“There’s only 120 people in Naseby, so we usually go to the bottom pub [Royal Hotel] on the Thursday night and the top pub [Ancient Briton Hotel] on the Friday night. I was lucky it was a Friday night, because that’s the pub with the defibrillator.”

However, the incident would still prove costly, he said.

“I’ve promised to go and see the boys when I get out and I might have to shout them a drink or two.”

Senior firefighter Paul Hart, of the Naseby Volunteer Fire Service, said the defibrillator had been a lifesaver.

“When we got there, the locals already had it out. It was a real team effort. He would have been dead for a good 15 minutes. He was a very lucky boy.

“He’s told us he’s going to buy us all a few beers when he gets back.”

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Hotel Events Manager Saves Guest

Posted by cocreator on January 28, 2011
Events / No Comments

George Best’s younger brother has paid tribute to a hotel manager who saved his life.


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Ian Best (44) was staying at Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool with his wife on January 11 when he suffered a heart attack.

While having a drink at the bar Mr Best began to feel sick, his vision blurred and he lost consciousness.

Fortunately hotel events manager Mark Brockbank was on hand. He grabbed a defibrillator and sprang into action, keeping the supermarket manager alive until an ambulance arrived.

Mark said: “I was trained by the ambulance service and it just took over.”

Ian, who lives in Torquay, said: “There will never be the words to express my thanks.

“If it wasn’t for Mark and the fact the hotel had a defibrillator, I could have been going back down the motorway in a coffin.”

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