From the Oakville Beaver, July 2, 2010
Grateful heart attack victim returns to thank YMCA staff
The quick actions of three Oakville YMCA staff members are being credited with saving the life of a member, who suffered a severe heart attack at the 410 Rebecca St., facility last week.
Bernd Krumme, 46, had gone to the Oakville YMCA, when it opened at 5:30 a.m. on June 23, to sneak in a quick workout before beginning his day.
“As soon as I went on one of the cardio machines, I blacked out. I had a massive heart attack,” said Krumme. “Didn’t feel it coming at all.”
Someone saw Krumme collapse and alerted staff members Nestor Granados and Bill Joyce. They rushed into the gym to help Krumme, who was not breathing. His heart had stopped.
Granados assessed the unconscious Krumme and instructed Joyce to get the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) the YMCA had on the premises.
Granados also began CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), while Joyce got the AED and called 911.
Upon Joyce’s return, the two took turns conducting CPR on Krumme with the aid of YMCA staff member Sara Pearson, who helped set up the AED and did the breathing portion of the CPR, while the other two did portion of the CPR, while the other two did the compressions.
The AED and the CPR conducted by the staff members kept Krumme alive until paramedics arrived and took him to hospital.
“It was scary,” said Granados, reflecting on the incident. “It felt like forever before Bill came back and helped me out because he was stuck on the phone. I was very nervous, scared, but everything worked out the way it did and I’m just grateful to see him (Krumme) up and walking.”
Later, at the hospital, Krumme was shocked to learn he had a heart attack because he exercises regularly and eats healthy.
He was also astounded by the actions the YMCA staff took to save his life.
On Wednesday, one week after his heart attack, Krumme returned to the Oakville YMCA with his wife Samantha and two children Matheus, 8, and Max, 5, to offer his thanks.
After entering the building, Krumme received a round of applause from the YMCA staff, who had assembled to greet him. However, Krumme said it was the staff members who helped him, particularly Granados, who deserved the applause.
“It’s so emotional. I thought a lot about Nestor and about the others, but Nestor did the main job in this lifesaving ordeal and I thought a lot about that,” said Krumme. “I wouldn’t be here today without him. I totally owe him my life and my children owe him their dad.”
After seeing Granados, Joyce and Pearson for the first time since his heart attack, Krumme embraced each one and presented them with tokens of his thanks.
This included an official World Cup ball for Granados — a huge soccer fan.
When asked about the incident, Pearson and the others credited their training for allowing them to respond so quickly without hesitation.
“As a lifeguard, I had the training and I was ready, I knew what to do as soon as I got there,” said Pearson. “I knew how to help, I didn’t have to think I just did it.”
Oakville YMCA President and CEO Darryl McKenzie expressed pride in the actions of his staff that day.
“They had a very prompt and professional response that went well beyond what we would expect our staff to do. We’re glad we were able to have defibrillators onsite. It reinforces the importance of keeping our staff trained and certified and practicing these sorts of scenarios so when an incident like this happens we are able to respond appropriately,” said McKenzie.
“We’re just very happy there has been positive outcome for our member and we look forward to seeing him recover and come back and continue to work out at the YMCA on a regular basis.”