Soccer

Coaches & Nurses Save Referee at Soccer Game

Posted by cocreator on April 03, 2014
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It could have been a very different outcome at an Airport High School soccer game last month when one of the game’s referees collapsed.


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Ramon Gil was ready for the Airport High lady Eagles’ scrimmage.

“I was feeling normal as usual,” said Gil. “Got ready for the game, put my stuff in the bag, and went out to the game.”

Gil also said he felt nothing out of the ordinary that day.

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“The last thing I remember, there was a scramble toward the opposing side of the field and so I had to take off, turn on the fire burners, so to speak, to keep up with the girls and they told me I fell mid-field, so I only ran about 25 yards, collapsed,” said Gil.

A referee for 11 years and a Latin dance instructor, Gil considered himself to be in great shape. But none of that mattered that day.

Certified athletic trainer and University of South Carolina graduate student Shea deWeber rushed onto the field from the sidelines.

“We resuscitated him using CPR, we put the AED on him, and delivered one shock,” said deWeber. “After that, his vitals came back and he seemed to be stable until EMS arrived.”

“Everybody sees us taping ankles and looking at a shoulder during a football game. What they don’t see is that we are educated to help out in emergency situations,” said head athletic trainer Karen Edwards.

deWeber acted immediately, relying on his training. Several USC undergrads assisted and two nurses who were sitting in the stands came to his aide.

“I didn’t do anything special, anything different than any other athletic trainer would have done in my situation,” said deWeber.

Gil is grateful.

“There was one artery 100 percent blocked, there was another one, 90 percent blocked and another one was 75 percent blocked,” said Gil.

Four days later, he had a triple bypass.

“They said there was really nothing I could have done to prevented it, that it was genetics,” said Gil.

A soccer ball signed by the team now serves as a reminder of what could have been.

“I really appreciate the fact that I have another chance to do something in life,” said Gil. “I was gone. There was 15 minutes, no heartbeat. If there hadn’t been an AED, the defibrillator on the field, you wouldn’t be able to talk to me today. I wouldn’t be here.”

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Medics Save Footballer during Game

Posted by cocreator on February 19, 2014
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Cardiac arrest footballer Mark Moore has been reunited with his lifesavers.

Mark Moore the Survivor

Mark Moore the Survivor

The Longlevens FC player collapsed on the pitch and owes his survival to a group of paramedics playing on an adjacent pitch.

His heart was shocked back into life – at the ninth attempt – and he had an emotional reunion with the men responsible. It comes as football fans in the city shout up about their sport’s place in Gloucester’s affections.

Mark had just scored when his heart stopped during a match in August 2012. Luckily, there were plenty of other players out enjoying a kickabout that day, including a team of paramedics on the adjacent pitch.

Thanks to their quick thinking and the defibrillator carried by a rapid responder, Mark’s heart was shocked back into life – at the ninth attempt.

Mark returned to action in his club’s final game that season.

His incredible story featured on BBC One programme, Real Lives Reunited this week.

Mark was replayed the emotional 999 call made by a friend on the sidelines.

In the programme he said: “I really shouldn’t have the opportunity to say what a brilliant job they done and to say thanks.”

James French, who manages Longlevens AFC, said although rugby may be number one, there is no doubting the popularity football still holds across the city.

“Football is as popular as ever in Gloucester,” he said.

“There are plenty of teams, although the standard dips a bit outside of the two main clubs at Tuffley and Longlevens.

“If football wasn’t as popular as it is, then Mark would probably not be with us today.

“It is because there were other teams playing at the same time as his match that help was on the scene so quickly.”

James added: “Mark tried to come back again in pre-season, but his defibrillator kicked in when he had another irregular heartbeat.

“He has had to retire from playing as a result but now runs our reserve team and they are doing really well.

“The community has rallied around the club and Mark during his recovery. That alone show how strong the links are with football in Gloucester.”

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Coaches & Firefighter Save Referee during Soccer Game

Posted by cocreator on February 14, 2014
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Two weeks ago on an athletic field at Salpointe Catholic High School soccer referee Michael Chaison collapsed and died.


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Before stunned onlookers, Chaison lay on the field in sudden cardiac arrest. Players from both teams gathered and knelt on the field and prayed the “Our Father”as a group of Salpointe athletic personnel and an off-duty fire captain raced to bring him back to life.

It was, fire officials say, their decisive actions in calling for help and beginning chest-compression-only CPR on Chaison that helped save him.

Michael Chaison the Survivor

Michael Chaison the Survivor

On Wednesday, Chaison gathered with his rescuers for the first time since that night, Jan 28. The veteran referee emotionally showed his gratitude to three Salpointe staff members and a Tucson Fire Department captain for saving him.

“You really can’t thank somebody for this,” said Chaison, 56, holding back tears as his family, school staff members and Tucson Fire personnel looked on at a ceremony at Salpointe. He said their actions gave him a second chance for life to share with Linda, his wife of 35 years, and their two children, a granddaughter and another grandchild expected soon.

Chaison stood near his rescuers: Kyle Bowen, a certified athletic trainer; Phil Gruensfelder, athletic director; Keith Shinaberry, assistant athletic director; and Tucson Fire Capt. Michael Coyle.

Looking back at the night he was refereeing a game between Salpointe and Sabino high schools, it’s easy to see why he is thankful.

Chaison’s heart stopped beating and within minutes he was administered CPR and given an electrical shock from an automated external defibrillator, while the emergency was reported to 911.

Paramedics arrived at the school, 1545 E. Copper St., in less than five minutes and took over his treatment, administering medication and transporting Chaison to University of Arizona Medical Center within 15 minutes of his collapse.

Chaison, who has a family history of heart disease, just remembered feeling good that night, being on the field and ready for the match.

The next thing he remembered was waking up in the emergency room, where he underwent exams.

One exam showed that he had suffered an earlier heart attack and he did not know it. It could have happened in his sleep, doctors told him.

Chaison had stents inserted and underwent a balloon angioplasty to clear one artery, and doctors also inserted an internal cardiac defibrillator under the skin on his upper left side with a wire leading to a ventricle of the heart. He was released days later, and will undergo cardiotherapy in two weeks.

Salpointe athletic officials have first-aid training and the automated external defibrillator is kept on the sidelines at games for emergencies.

Chaison laughed with Coyle, who was at the game to cheer on the Sabino team, because the two spoke about the CPR Chaison received, which fractured several of his ribs. “Every time I sneeze, my chest hurts,” he said.

Linda Chaison said this last medical emergency is enough for the family.

“It comes in threes,” she quipped, explaining that for the last 2½ years she has dealt with breast cancer and leukemia and now is in remission.

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Coach Save Teen Soccer Player in School

Posted by cocreator on November 28, 2013
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Karen and John Acompora pulled up to an Amityville elementary school they had never visited, to meet a girl they did not know.


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A few weeks earlier, 12-year-old Kiavelyn Altagracia, a seventh-grader at Edmund W. Miles Middle School in Amityville, collapsed on the sideline during her soccer practice. She was unconscious and barely had a pulse, said her coach, Isha Hamilton, who started CPR.

Within minutes, Hamilton used an automated external defibrillator, more commonly known as an AED. The machine the size of a laptop computer told her to keep doing chest compressions and rescue breathing.

Kiavelyn Altagarcia the Survivor

Kiavelyn Altagarcia the Survivor

“She took a deep gasp, and I felt a very faint pulse,” Hamilton said. Kiavelyn slowly regained consciousness.

The AED was on the field because of the Acomporas of Northport, whose son Louis died on March 25, 2000, after a ball hit him in the chest during his first high school lacrosse game. There was no AED on hand.

The lacrosse game was in West Islip. The second quarter had just started and Louis was in the goal, wearing a chest protector, when the ball struck him and he collapsed.

Karen and John Acompora were in the stands and thought Louis had had the wind knocked out of him. But after a few minutes, Louis didn’t get up, and his parents knew something was wrong. John Acompora ran to the field, while CPR was being performed. Karen Acompora remembers seeing her husband take off Louis’ chin strap.

Louis, 14, died on that field.

In 2002, Louis’ Law was enacted, months after the family launched the Louis J. Acompora Memorial Foundation. The law mandates that schools, including athletic events, have AEDs on-site and people trained to use them. Kiavelyn was the 75th save statewide since the law passed.

“It is amazing what they are doing and so heroic,” said Hamilton, who teaches physical education at the Amityville school. The Acomporas attended an October school board meeting at Park Avenue Elementary, where they presented awards to Kiavelyn, Hamilton and Greg McCoy, another coach who assisted with the save.

The Acomporas, who also have a daughter, have spent years raising awareness about AEDs. To date, the law has saved 76 people, the family said.

“Out of those 76, there are a lot of them who have paid it forward,” Karen Acompora said. One is a foundation board member, and many have helped raise money and participated in advocacy efforts, she said.

Greater New York American Red Cross spokesman Michael de Vulpillieres said Kiavelyn’s save “emphasizes the continued importance of using an AED within two to three minutes of sudden cardiac arrest and having trained rescuers who recognize and act in an emergency to save a life.”

“We applaud the efforts of the Acompora family over the years to make AEDs more accessible while honoring the memory of their son,” de Vulpillieres said.

American Heart Association staff member Robin Vitale said the Acomporas “are a tremendous source of strength and inspiration for those of us working to improve bystander response to an emergency, meaning CPR initiation and using an AED.”

“I simply cannot begin to imagine the depth of pain they experienced 13 years ago with the death of their son, Louis,” Vitale said. “But what a testament to the courage of Karen and John that they have committed to building his legacy by continuing their advocacy.”The foundation just held an event in Floral Park, where about 400 children were screened for heart conditions, and they are planning another for next year.

Karen Acompora says her family’s work helps keep Louis’ memory alive. They always talk about him, and now they have a grandson, 5-year-old Louis. “It is like Louis is still here with us,” she said.

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Nurse Save Soccer Player after Ball Hit Chest

Posted by cocreator on September 30, 2013
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A football player owes his life to a spectator.

Mark Martin the Saviour

Mark Martin the Saviour

Lee Orton collapsed with a heart attack as the new Huddersfield District League season kicked off this week.

As his heart stopped for several minutes he was saved by a former nurse, who happened to be watching the game.

“I’m just so glad I was able to help,” said modest hero Mark Martin, who was helped by Aimbry player Simon West.

Mr Martin, 52, carried out cardiac massage on the stricken player for more than 10 minutes in a bid to keep the blood flowing, before Lee was resuscitated by rapid response paramedics armed with a defibrillator.

Last night, 30-year-old Lee was on the mend in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Lee Orton the Survivor

Lee Orton the Survivor

The man who saved him had gone to watch his two sons, Andrew and Chris, play for Brook Motors at Aimbry’s Bradley Mills home.

Lee was playing in the Aimbry side after being given the all-clear by doctors, having had treatment for previous heart problems.

But he collapsed after 25 minutes of the game. He was hit in the chest by the ball and went down.

Mr Martin said: “It was Chris who realised the lad was in trouble and I saw he wasn’t breathing well. I went across while someone phoned for an ambulance and realised his heart had stopped.

“Thinking back it was a frightening moment but the adrenaline kicked in and I began heart massage.

“It seemed to go on for ages and someone said it was at least 10 minutes before the paramedics arrived.

“They immediately got out an ECG machine and it showed the lad had no heartbeat, but they shocked him once with the defibrillator and he came round.

“Before they took him away he was able to talk and I’m just glad I was there to help.”

Mr Martin works as a builder alongside son Chris, but spent years working as a practice nurse in Skelmanthorpe.

He lives in Emley with wife Christina and is an experienced triathlete.

And he hopes the drama of Wednesday night will prompt others involved in sport to consider getting basic CPR training.

Aimbry secretary Conway Shaw, said: “It was very frightening. Lee was struggling to breathe and was obviously in a bad way.

“They got Lee into the recovery position and then on his back. They made sure his tongue was clear of his throat and then began CPR.They were really working hard on his chest to try and keep him breathing.

“Someone had called for an ambulance and we were lucky that the game was at Barr Street in Bradley Mills, where the ambulance was able to drive straight on to the pitch.”

He said Lee had suffered from heart problems in the past but had been under treatment and the doctors said he was fine to resume playing.
“It was a really frightening situation, almost like the Fabrice Muamba situation when he was playing for Bolton Wanderers at Tottenham, Hotspur, and had a heart attack.

“It stresses how vital it is to have people with first-aid knowledge at games.”

Brook Motors’ secretary Trevor Smeaton said: “We are glad the lad seems to be okay.

“Mark has had nursing experience through his work in the past and knew exactly what to do.

“Mark worked really hard to keep the lad breathing by massaging his heart to keep it going.”

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