And yet, thanks to Begg, thanks to quick-acting EMTs Lyn McCabe and Jen Clados at the Ridgefield Half Marathon, Shapiro and the others survived their near-death experiences.”It wasn’t just me. It was everyone else jumping in to help, too,” Begg said. “To have a critical situation like we had, where all of a sudden people you don’t know just come together and jump into roles, it was amazing.”People were assisting with crowd control and starting IVs — there were nurses and techs — everyone just did their job. There were no egos. It was an impromptu MASH unit all three times.”
Remember last month when I told you that my sister was a hero (see My sister helped save someone’s life yesterday)? Well, we just found out today that the man she helped, Roy Van Eick, made a full recovery! What great news, and what a great sister. Hahaha. What’s even more amazing is that the rate of recovery for something like this is ridiculously low–just 5 percent! Read on:
And on Oct. 7 at the Ridgefield Half Marathon, Begg saved another man, Stamford resident Roy Van Eick, who grew up in Danbury, after he went into full cardiac arrest at the 31�„2-mile mark of the race.
“It was a real hot day, but this guy was a pretty experienced runner,” said Begg, who was also running in the race. “When he went down, there were some people around him who tried to give him CPR.
“When I showed up, it was basically the same thing again — mouth-to-mouth and chest compressions. With the help of paramedics, we shocked him three times, started an IV, and gave him cardiac medications and other medications.”
Like Shapiro and Kerwin, Van Eick made a complete recovery, which is a statistical rarity. The survival rate for full cardiac arrest outside of a medical setting is just five percent, Begg said.
Too bad there aren’t more Lyns to go around.
This is a picture of my sister Lyn from our trip to Ireland this past summer. Lyn was a swimmer throughout high school and college, and is an avid marathon runner and triathlon participant. In the past couple of years, she has also taken up scuba-diving and is trained as a scuba-diving lifesaver. While running a half-marathon in Ridgefield, Connecticut yesterday, Lyn had the chance to put her life-saving skills to the test.
She noticed a man up ahead of her fall down during the race, and her first thought was “oh, someone just tripped, that really sucks” but immediately realized that he fell straight backwards, landing on his back and hitting his head on the pavement. She and a few other runners knelt down to try to help, none of them knowing what to do. Dark red blood was pouring out of the back of his head on the pavement. His eyes were rolled back into his head and his mouth was open. One runner suggested they elevate his legs, and another held his hand and spoke to him, using his name, Roy (printed on his registration). Someone called 911 and Lyn checked his pulse, then realized that he seemed to have stopped breathing. Then his face had begun to turn purple, and she thought, “I have to do something.”
She began mouth to mouth resuscitation and “put some breath back into him.” After a moment, she said, his chest heaved and he breathed in deeply. At that point another runner came up who was an emergency room doctor and took over until the EMT arrived. Roy was then given a defibrillator and (I believe) a tracheotomy, stabilized, and taken to the hospital (after the ambulance arrived, a full 30 minutes later–ahem). Although Lyn said she’d been taught that you always fill out a report after participating in something like that (using a procedure on someone) she was told it wasn’t necessary, thanked by the EMT and sent on her way. She’ll have to wait, perhaps, until the next race to find out how Roy is recovering.
Isn’t Lyn great?! They call people who perform CPR “rescuers.” Lyn actually gave breaths to Roy who was not breathing by putting her mouth on his and forcing air into his lungs. In situations like this, where someone has stopped breathing and has suffered a heart attack, there is a very small window of opportunity in which to use CPR before permanent brain damage and tissue death will occur. You never know when you might be in a situation like this, and it really makes me want to get certified to do it myself. I’m really proud of my sister for thinking so fast on her feet, for not being afraid to put her knowledge into action, and for doing what it took to keep this man alive until professionals could take over. And Roy, we hope you are hanging in there…