Fellow Players Save Man during Basketball Game

Posted by cocreator on December 26, 2013
Events / No Comments

Maj. Mark McEvers was just playing basketball with some friends in Devils Lake when suddenly one of the players fell backward.

View First Aid Corps World Map of Lives Saved with AEDs in a larger map

Everyone gathered around the man who fell, McEvers said.

He was having trouble breathing, and then his breathing stopped.

McEvers, who works for the North Dakota National Guard as a supervisor at Camp Grafton, immediately grabbed the automated external defibrillator in Sweetwater Elementary School, where the recreational basketball league of about 12 men in their 40s was playing when the accident happened, the evening of Dec. 8.

Mark McEvers the Saviour

Mark McEvers the Saviour

The man who collapsed had turned blue, McEvers said. He didn’t have a pulse.

McEvers administered a shock with the AED, and another basketball player, Rich Olson, started to perform CPR.

Soon, the man regained color to his face and started breathing, said Olson, who works as an engineering technician for the city of Devils Lake.

While McEvers and Olson were helping the man, someone had called 911, and emergency personnel arrived shortly.

“We kind of kept him awake until the EMTs got there,” Olson said.

Olson had never performed CPR before, he said, and while McEvers was trained on the AED as part of his work with the National Guard, he hadn’t ever used it to save someone.

McEvers said there were other heroes there that day.

Others called 911, he said, and someone took children who were watching the basketball game into another room so they wouldn’t have to witness the man unconscious.

And “the real heroes,” McEvers said, were the emergency medical personnel. “They do this all the time,” he said.

A few days after the accident, the rural Devils Lake man, in his upper 50s, underwent triple-bypass heart surgery, Olson said. He declined to name the man to respect his privacy.

The man collapsed at probably the best time and place possible, Olson said, because he was surrounded by people who could help, and he was in town so medical care was nearby.

The situation resonated with many because another Devils Lake man died a few days earlier after suffering a heart attack, Olson said.

At the basketball game, Olson said everyone remained calm, including the son of the man who collapsed.

“We were all there. We were ready,” Olson said. “We all just did what we had to do.”

McEvers, the executive officer and officer in charge for the North Dakota National Guard’s 136th Combat Sustainment Support Brigade at Camp Grafton, encourages people to embrace using an AED in a situation like what happened Dec. 8. The machine is easy for anyone to use, he said, and it saves lives.

“Embrace some of the technology that makes things like this easier,” McEvers said.

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Deliveryman & Volunteer Saves Another at Charity Organisation

Posted by cocreator on April 16, 2011
Events / No Comments

Kevin Stewart had retired after 32 years in the Armed Forces. He was looking forward to doing some volunteer work at Martha’s Table on Princess Street.

March 1 was his first day and he was in the back of the building when he heard a commotion

“I heard somebody shout out, ‘Does anybody know CPR?’ ” Stewart said.

He had received regular training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the Forces, so he yelled back that he knew how to perform the life-saving procedure.

“I didn’t know what happened,” he said. “I walked out and the guy was on the floor.”

Volunteer John McAllister had just collapsed and was not breathing. He was having a heart attack.

Deborah Martin, another of the volunteers at Martha’s Table, said she saw McAllister fall while carrying in some buns, but she thought he had just tripped.

“I ran from the stairs and caught him and yelled ‘help.’ His face turned blue. His lips were black.

“It was not nice.”

Nobody seemed to know what to do, so Stewart quickly took charge.

“We are always given that directive in the military,” he said. “You always step up.”

He made sure somebody had called 911 and went to check on the man.

“He had started turning blue and then he seemed to come out of it to a certain extent, so I put him into the recovery position.”

Then McAllister stopped breathing again.

“So I moved him back and started CPR right away.”

Stewart was joined by UPS driver Brad Walker, who had just walked in. Walker, who is cochairman of the safety and wellness committee at UPS’s Kingston centre, had originally come to get some information for his daughter, who wanted to volunteer at Martha’s Table.

As soon as he walked in, he saw Stewart bent over McAllister and ran to help. Like Stewart, Walker gets his CPR skills updated regularly. He has been with UPS for 22 years.

The two kept up the CPR until paramedics and firefighters arrived to take over.

“They were really quick. I was shocked how fast they got here,” said Stewart.

McAllister was in hospital for a month and had a pacemaker put in, but is now back helping at Martha’s Table. The 64-year-old has been a volunteer there for 11 years.

He said he doesn’t remember a thing about what happened.

“I didn’t feel a thing,” he said. “They said I hit the floor.”

He appreciates Stewart being there that day.

“I guess it was real lucky. I want to thank him.”

He has to take things slowly for a while but otherwise feels well.

“I am up and rocking. This pacemaker seems to be doing its job.”

This was the first time Stewart had performed CPR for real.

“Even in the real situation, everything just seems to click,” he said. “You miss the odd thing, but as long as you are applying the steak and not the sizzle, that’s what counts.”

He said it was “all happenstance, between myself being here the first day and it wasn’t even his day to work here.”

McAllister normally took Tuesdays off, but had come in that day to help out.

“It was probably fortunate that he did because he might have been home alone. Everything seemed to happen for a reason.”

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Marine & Paramedics Saves Employee at Automobile Shop

Posted by cocreator on April 04, 2011
Events / No Comments

A Marine from the Twentynine Palms base is credited with saving an automotive technician’s life after a heart attack March 12 at Chevron Express Lube and Smog. Lance Cpl. Beau Teigland was at the business for a smog certificate when Paul Stewart opened the waiting room door to get some information. “He was halfway in the door, talking about my vehicle,” Teigland said. “He stiffened up; on the way down, I caught him.”

Beau Teigland the Saviour

Teigland got Stewart down onto the floor and checked to see that he was still breathing.

After about a minute, Stewart’s breathing suddenly stopped and he gasped for air. That’s when Teigland started cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The shop’s security video recording shows Teigland applying constant and aggressive, textbook CPR and artificial resuscitation a few times during the 10-minute wait for medical responders.

Teigland said the chest compressions brought some of Stewart’s color back and the patient’s pulse got a little stronger.

Stewart’s recollection of the event is much more abbreviated.

“All I remember is, I walked in the door; that was about it. It was like somebody pulled the rug out from under me. I woke up four days later in the hospital.”

Stewart was treated with a defibrillator, taken by ambulance to Hi-Desert Medical Center, then flown to Desert Regional Medical Center, where he received an angioplasty.

The diagnosis was 100 percent blockage of an artery. Doctors told Stewart’s daughter-in-law Heather Erhart that starting CPR is what saved him.

“I possibly kind of knew,” Stewart admitted about his impending medical event.

“You don’t want to think the worst. I’ve had little pains before and they’ve gone away. My chest had been hurting for a month. I thought it was a chest cold,” he said.

“I just shrugged it off. I don’t recommend that to anybody. Get it checked out.”

Teigland had gone to a required CPR refresher training about a week before event and has been through the combat lifesaver course required of all infantrymen. Teigland, who comes from Reynolds N.D., and is living in Yucca Valley while assigned to the local Marine Corps base, observes his 21st birthday later this month.

“I owe him a great deal of gratitude,” Stewart said of his rescuer, whom he later treated to dinner at Applebee’s. “I’ll never be able to repay him.”

Stewart is on the mend and has been walking around the block. He said his diet has improved. He returns to work in about two weeks.

Surviving a heart attack has given Stewart a new outlook on life.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. I’m a little more ‘smell the roses’ and stuff. I won’t be in a big hurry any more.”

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