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Five, not “Fore,” Lee Health Employees Save a Woman’s Life—Off the Clock

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Author name: Lee Health

Top Golf photo

From left to right: Nathaly Acebedo, Manuel Morales, Courtney Jones. Not pictured: Dana Odeh and Stephen Siebs

On the golf course, you’ll often hear cries of “Fore!” It’s an alert for others to know they’re in the path of a struck ball.

But last month at Topgolf, a high-tech driving range and entertainment venue, the alert would have had a different meaning.

When a Topgolf employee was struck by a seizure, five Lee Health employees sprang into action to help.

The five coworkers, employed with Lee Health Cape Coral Hospital Emergency Department, were relaxing and enjoying an evening together at Topgolf when they heard a woman had collapsed.

Nathaly Acebedo, RN, Courtney Jones, RN, and ED technicians Manuel Morales, Dana Odeh and Stephen Siebs rushed over to the woman to provide emergency response. They found her non-responsive with no heart or breath sounds. The woman had gone into sudden cardiac arrest.

During sudden cardiac arrest, the heart stops pumping blood to the rest of the body, including the brain and lungs. Death can happen in minutes without treatment. Because the woman’s blood lacked oxygen, her lips were turning blue.

The five took turns performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the woman. CPR uses chest compressions, which mimic how the heart pumps, to help keep blood flowing throughout her body. The woman also received rescue breaths every two seconds, delivered from Nathaly’s do-it-yourself barrier device—a Styrofoam cup with a hole poked in the bottom.

The group also grabbed one of the facility’s automated external defibrillators, applied the electrode pads to the woman’s chest, and sent an electrical shock to restore normal rhythm.

“This was different from the emergency department experience,” Nathaly recalled. “No drugs, no heart monitor. There was no time to panic; we just did our jobs.”

For about 20 minutes the group worked together until paramedics from Lee County Emergency Medical Services arrived. EMS personnel continued CPR on her for about 30 minutes until she was stable enough to be placed in an ambulance—where she regained consciousness—and rushed to Gulf Coast Medical Center.

“It was a good feeling to hear that we had saved her life when she had woken up,” Manuel told NBC2 News. “It was really great, and it warmed our hearts that we were there to help her.”

The woman is expected to make a full recovery.

Read: Here’s How to Learn CPR, Save a Life

“Working in this field taught us how to help people in an unstable environment,” Manuel said. “In this case, it gave us the knowledge we needed to save this woman’s life.”

No Substitute for Training

Courtney says the difference between doing something and doing nothing could mean someone's life. That’s why he urges people to get the proper training for CPR and for whatever AED you may have to use.

“It’s also good to get training on how to use a barrier breathing device, if any are available to you, during an emergency,” he adds. “You just never know when you might have use one. Emergencies can happen anywhere, at any time.”

Courtney’s been known to hand out “on-the-go” CPR rescue kits to friends and acquaintances. The key-ring kits contain a CPR breathing barrier with one-way valve. Despite their functionality, barrier devices are necessary for you to perform CPR, Courtney notes.

“The key is know how to administer CPR. Anyone can save a life if they know CPR.”