Defibrillators in our communities is money well spent

Teen ‘at a loss for words’ after saving man’s life

A minor baseball fan was “in the right place at the right time” when he suffered cardiac arrest at a championship game in Barrhaven on Wednesday night.

Lunik Kanungo, 55, had stopped to watch an East Nepean Little League game at the jam-packed Eagles Nest on Longfields Dr. when he suddenly collapsed beside the field.

“He was out for a walk on the track (next to the diamond) and he went over to watch the game,” said Kanungo’s son, Bini, a former player and umpire with ENLL. “While he was standing watching one of the games he ended up just collapsing.”

That’s when quick-thinking bystanders rushed into action. One of the first to get to Kanungo as he lay prone on the ground was teenage coach Andy Thacker, 19.

“There was another gentleman there who had first aid training and knew CPR,” Thacker told the Sun. “I said there was a defibrillator over at Mother Teresa High School, and I could go grab it.

“I got on my high horse and sprinted to Mother Teresa.”

Fortunately, the school doors were open and a custodian was outside the building – from which Thacker had graduated one year ago.

“I told him ‘I need your AED, there is a man collapsed out on the diamond.’” Thacker said. “He said sure thing, so we went in and got it.”

Thacker sprinted back toward the diamond where another coach, Sean Maguire, was waiting. He ran the AED the rest of the way to where Kanungo lay.

“They had already started CPR,” Thacker said. “At that point he had no pulse.”

One shock was delivered with the defibrillator and Kanungo was revived. Moments later, paramedics arrived and took over his care.

Meanwhile, another bystander had run to the Kanungo home just a few moments away and let the family know.

Bini said as the paramedics loaded his dad into the ambulance, he was doing well for a man who had been without vital signs just moments earlier.

“It’s kind of strange, because even from the time they put him into the ambulance, all his vitals were looking pretty good.”

While all this was going on, and at that point unsure of Kanungo’s condition, Thacker and the other coaches kept their players calm. The spring league championship was tied in the sixth inning when this occurred.

“I wanted to get the kids away from the scenario,” he said. “I had a family member pass away at the age of 12 and I know it was very hard on me.”

Once Kanungo had been revived, and left in the ambulance, the game resumed but had to be suspended due to darkness. It will be replayed sometime in the next few days.

Thacker said Thursday was “a little overwhelming” with media interviews, emails, calls and texts from friends and family who heard about his life-saving actions.

“I am still trying to find words,” he said. “I am still in shock at the whole situation. I’m just happy I could help out and that the man is alive today.”

Not nearly as happy as the Kanungo family.

“I am at a loss for words,” he said. “It’s really hard to say anything that is not overly cliché but we feel truly indebted.”

Amazingly, the incident was one of two on what might be called a banner day for the city’s public defibrillator program. A few hours earlier outside the RA Centre along Riverside Dr. a 58-year-old man also suffered cardiac arrest and was revived. This time one RA staff member was doing CPR and another had just arrived with the AED when paramedics arrived.

Paramedics say these incidents raise to 77 the number of people who have been saved since the program to install Public Access Defibrillators began. Most public facilities in Ottawa now have defibrillators.

Many private businesses have also installed the devices.

By Don Wilcox Ottawa Sun

First posted: | Updated:

Source:  https://www.ottawasun.com/2014/06/26/shocking-defibrillators-help-save-2-people


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