Bystanders Save Elderly Man at Party

Posted by cocreator on March 23, 2012
Events / No Comments

For 80-year-old Preston Tawes, of Salisbury, what began as a simple celebration among friends to welcome 2012 suddenly — and without warning — became a race against the clock to save his life.

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“I remember leaving the car and walking into the meeting,” said Tawes, a lifelong resident of the Eastern Shore who exercises regularly. “But that’s where my memory ends.”

What the retired purchasing agent doesn’t recall, about 70 of his fellow Happy Timers club members who were meeting Jan. 4 at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center will never forget. Tawes had just entered the room with his wife, Ruth, and was about to sign them in when he suffered a heart attack, falling face-first onto the registration table.

“I just kind of collapsed myself,” added Ruth Tawes, who has been a close friend of her husband’s for over 70 years, but had been married to him for just three years following the loss of their spouses. “I stood over him and I knew he was gone.”

Happy Timers Director Sharon Engster saw Tawes fall, and she called out to assistant director Karen McInturff to grab one of the two AEDs permanently located at the Civic Center.

While McInturff raced from the room, retired cardiac nurse Carol Smith, a Happy Timers member, immediately started CPR. When McInturff returned moments later, she followed the audio commands issued by the AED, attached the pads to Tawes’ chest and twice shocked him while Smith continued CPR between the applications. McInturff, like other key Civic Center staff, had been previously trained in the use of the AED.

“I truly believe he’s a blessed man and a miracle who had this horrible event happen at the right place, the right time, with the right technology and the right people at his side who refused to give up the fight,” McInturff said.

Tawes was taken by ambulance to Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department, where clinicians stabilized him and then handed him over to the care of the Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute’s cardiac catheterization lab team. He spent two days in the ICU, three more in a cardiac step down unit and was home by Jan. 9.

“The main reason Mr. Tawes is alive today is because of the timely and proper use of the AED, along with his prompt transportation by EMS to the closest hospital, in this case, PRMC, where cardiac intervention was performed. It is this coordination of care and meeting door-to-balloon times (from the emergency department to the cath lab) of less than 90 minutes that is best for the patient,” said cardiologist Hari Heda, MD. “This also clearly demonstrates the life-saving value and importance of businesses having an AED available and training staff on how to use it.”

Less than a month later, Tawes was back at a Happy Timers meeting to see Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt and members of the County Council provide certificates of recognition to Engster, McInturff and Smith for their actions that saved his life.

“They and everyone at PRMC gave us back our husband and our father,” added Ruth Tawes. “I can’t thank them enough.”

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Nurses & Paramedics Save Student in Elementary School Party

Posted by cocreator on December 25, 2009
Events / No Comments

Just after noon, a 7-year-old boy was celebrating at a holiday party with his classmates at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School in Boston, said Matthew Wilder, spokesman for the Boston public schools.

Suddenly, he became unresponsive and went into cardiac arrest, Wilder said. It is unclear what triggered the problem.

School nurses immediately rushed to the classroom where the party was taking place and began performing CPR on the boy, Wilder said.

They also used a defibrillator.

Three minutes later, emergency medical technicians arrived and found the boy was not breathing and had no pulse. Paramedics arrived on the scene a few minutes later.

Emergency workers managed to revive the child, but he was not breathing on his own when they transported him across the street to Tufts Medical Center, according to emergency officials.

“The school nurse really should be praised,” said Jennifer Mehigan, spokeswoman for Boston Emergency Medical Services. “Those quick actions are really what save someone’s life.”

He is still listed as in critical condition.

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Mother Helps Save Son at Party

Posted by cocreator on July 31, 2009
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It’s unusual for a 17-year-old boy to collapse from sudden cardiac arrest, and two in the same hospital at the same time is almost unheard of.

“We were playing games, and I decided I was going to ride a mechanical bull,” recalled Kyle. “I was on it, and I passed out. The next thing I remember is waking up at the hospital.

Kyle’s mother, Lisa Bednar, was a chaperone at grad night.

“I was the first one on scene. We called for 911, and then there was a group of four of us that started CPR on Kyle, got the defibrillator and shocked him. We continued CPR until the ambulance actually showed up,” Lisa Bednar recalled.

Kyle Bednar the Survivor

Kyle Bednar the Survivor

A recent stress test that Kyle Bednar took showed he’s in healthy shape. Even though he experienced a close call, he says nothing’s really changed for him.

“It doesn’t even really feel like it ever happened. It’s kind of like life back to normal,” he said.

Kyle says he’s just a little more careful when he’s physically active. In the fall, he’ll be a freshman at North Dakota State University, majoring in mechanical engineering.

Both Ward and Bednar mothers say they have a new mission—making sure every high school is equipped with a defibrillator and people who know how to use them.

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