Athletic trainers, a security guard and a parent worked together to apply chest compressions and used a defibrillator to save the man’s life.
HAHANNA, Ohio — Football fans are gearing up for the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills to play again this Sunday. This is the first time since then Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field in cardiac arrest earlier in the month.
It was a difficult event to watch, but it started a national debate about the importance of ATS and CPR knowledge.
Days after that event made national headlines, a similar story unfolded here in central Ohio.
Dr. Ritu Bahru’s daughter is studying in class 7. She plays for the Columbus Academy girls basketball team. Dr. Bahru said last Thursday’s game was like any other, except it was against a rival, so there was a lot on the line.
She said the game was tied when the buzzer sounded. They were getting ready for overtime when she said time suddenly froze.
Seconds mattered, but not on the clock.
“This gentleman blew his whistle and then he just went down and fell to the ground,” she said.
Dr. Bahru ran from the stands to a man – it was one of the referees of the game.
“Our goal was to help save him,” she said.
Others were by her side – together in the fight to save life.
“Once we assessed that he wasn’t breathing and he didn’t have a pulse, we started compressions,” said Roland Cleveland, safety and security coordinator at Columbus Academy.
Cleveland was performing compressions with Dr. Bahru when the trainer grabbed the AED near the gym door.
“From the time I was able to get the pads to the time I actually applied the shock, it was 15 minutes,” said Jake Devlin, Columbus Academy’s head athletic trainer.
Jake Devlin switched the pads from the kid version to adult pads and introduced shock.
“We shocked him with the AED, he didn’t respond to the AED, so we did two more rounds of compressions,” Devlin said.
And that was the moment when hope appeared.
“When I felt that pulse, I felt I felt a pulse, I felt a pulse,” exclaimed Dr. Bahru.
First there was the pulse. And then:
“When I was doing the last compression cycle, he took a big breath,” Cleveland said. “And nothing can express how happy I was when he took that big gulp of air.”
The official suffered a cardiac arrest.
“We all worked really well together as a team to save him,” said Dr. Bahru.
This team is doing life saving.
“I was in disbelief, I was so happy,” she said.
Those on the sidelines, including her own daughter, walked away with shaking hands, wide eyes and full hearts.
“After that night when we got home, the first thing she said to me was, ‘Oh, Mom, you’re really a doctor,’ because at home I’m just ‘Mom,'” Dr. Bahru said. know how to do it,’ and I said, ‘Well, it wasn’t just me, I worked with the security guard and the athletic trainers, and we were all able to help him.’
An employee of the game, who did not wish to be named at this time, says he is grateful to those who saved his life.