City of Naperville honors Edward Health & Fitness Center employees for lifesaving efforts.
From The Naperville Sun:
Five life-savers honored at council meeting
July 24, 2009
By KATHY CICHON firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes offering a few minutes of your time to a stranger can have life-altering effects. In the case of several Naperville area residents, the gift of their time was lifesaving.
"I'm just very grateful," said Gene Skooglund. "Some people might not even stop."
Skooglund was cutting the grass in his front lawn June 26 when all of a sudden he felt very dizzy. He decided to sit down on the grass. And then he passed out.
At the same time, Dr. David Sanchez noticed the 77-year-old Skooglund.
"I was driving by on the way to Ace Hardware and he was laying in the yard," Sanchez said. "At first we thought he might be relaxing, and then we looked at him and realized he wasn't."
Sanchez is an emergency room physician at Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora. When he realized Skooglund wasn't breathing, he began cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. He continued until the paramedics arrived.
"Thankfully I was able to do that for him," Sanchez said. "It was surreal. We do that obviously in the hospital, but it's much different than that. You don't have the ability and tools to help him the way you can help him in the hospital."
Skooglund, who was experiencing cardiac arrest that day, is now home recuperating and doing fine.
"The fortunate thing was he happened along when he did," Skooglund said. "If he had come by five minutes earlier or five minutes later, he wouldn't have been able to help me. It's some kind of divine guidance."
Sanchez is one of five people honored Tuesday night at the Naperville City Council meeting by Fire Chief Mike Puknaitis with the Fire Chief's Citizen Award. Puknaitis said awards were being given to individuals "that have truly made a difference in what the Heart Association terms "the chain of survival."
Along with Sanchez, those receiving the award were Tracy Trimble, Laura LaRue, Eric Gustafson, and Jim Boyce for saving lives through the use of CPR and automated external defibrillators.
According to the American Heart Association, nearly 300,000 people succumb to sudden cardiac death each year. Roughly 80 percent of incidents occur at home, and 95 percent die before reaching the hospital, Puknaitis said.
"In order to save somebody's life, you really have to have early intervention," Puknaitis said.
The first is recognizing there is an incident and calling 911 to make sure emergency medical services are notified, he said. Then, perform CPR and use an AED if needed.
"In these cases if this does not occur, for every one minute a person loses life expectancy roughly 10 to 15 percent," Puknaitis said.
It was shortly after noon June 26 - the same day Sanchez came to Skooglund's aid - that the employees of Edward Health and Fitness Center in Naperville heard the announcement of a "211 on the fitness floor," which means there is an emergency. The employees rushing to help found Jack Hummel, 59, sitting in a chair sweating. He had just finished his workout and was feeling dizzy. They had a difficult time finding a pulse. Hummel then passed out.
"We brought him down to the ground and (brought) the AED out," said Trimble, program manager at the center.
While employees LaRue and Gustafson performed CPR, Trimble prepared the AED, which advised to shock. After the shock LaRue and Gustafson continued CPR until paramedics arrived. Their AED advised to shock a second time, Trimble said.
"I wouldn't be alive if it weren't for them," said Hummel, who is now at home in Lisle. "If it happened at home, I'd be dead."
The whole staff at the center, he said, was excellent throughout the whole situation.
"An angel was looking out for me," Hummel said.
Also recognized Tuesday was Boyce. Boyce, who owns Naperville Tennis Club, received his award for using an AED on April 20 to save a 56-year-old Mary Wenclawski's life. The tennis player collapsed on the court and Boyce used the AED.
"His calm and collect manner saved my life," Wenclawski told The Sun a few months ago.
This was the second time since 2004 Boyce has used an AED to save a tennis player's life at the club.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services