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“We are there to help save lives”

A morning workout turned emergent last week when a member collapsed on the track at Beacon Health & Fitness in Mishawaka.

Matthew Oloff, BSN, RN, Memorial Hospital, who is training for the 2019 Chicago Marathon, was cooling down after a run with his wife when the incident happened near them.

“The whole event went down pretty fast. One minute the man was up and walking, then a second later he was down on the ground unresponsive,” said Oloff, who works in Memorial’s cardiovascular intensive care unit in open heart recovery.

He rushed over, and upon establishing the man did not have a pulse, Oloff immediately started cardiovascular resuscitation.

 Mayank Mittal, MD, Cardiology, Beacon Medical Group, also stopped his workout and hurried to the scene.

“When I arrived, the ICU nurse had already established Code Blue and had begun chest compressions,” Dr. Mittal said. “In the meantime, I checked his pulse again and made sure someone was calling 911 and bringing an AED.”

Information Desk associate Chloe Nelson recalls a fitness member running up to her to quickly call 911.

“They said there was a man who fell up on the track, who was in his mid- to late-60s, so I called right away,” Nelson said. “At the time, we did not know that he had a heart attack.”

Matthew’s wife run up to the desk asking for the AED, as word quickly spread across the building about the emergency on the track.

“I put the phone down and ran to get the AED for her to give to her husband and the physicians,” Chloe said. Then she got back on the line with the 911 operator. “I stayed on the phone with them, relaying everything I knew.”

Chelsea Reese, Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, heard what was happening and rushed upstairs to the others to lend a hand.

“They just reached the end of a round of chest compressions and asked if someone could administer the rescue breaths, so I jumped in to help,” Reese said.

When the AED arrived, Dr. Mittal took the defibrillator out of the case. “While the monitor was analyzing rhythm, I continued CPR and then delivered the shock,” he said.

Chelsea Reese (left) and Chloe Nelson at Beacon Health & Fitness, Mishawaka.

After the first shock, Dr. Howard Wiarda, of Decatur, Ill., who was also on-hand, checked for the man’s pulse and took over chest compressions for Matthew.

“Halfway through the third cycle of compressions, the man regained a normal breathing pattern,” Matthew said.

Thanks to their live-saving efforts, the team successfully revived the man.

“We then stayed with him,” Dr. Mittal said. “The radiologist (Matthew) was a great help, as he held the patient down, since he was trying to get up, and kept a feel of his pulse. The staff was amazing.”

Chelsea said the group stayed with the man until the firefighters and EMTs arrived.

“I am so thankful to work in a facility with physicians who are always around,” Chloe said, “And that our associates are CPR certified so that way in cases like these we are there to help save lives.”

Dr. Mittal spoke highly of the Beacon Health & Fitness staff and other members who responded that morning.

“It was a great team effort by all Beacon staff,” he said.

Working in the critical care environment at Memorial Hospital, Matthew said, prepares you for situations like this. “You don’t have to think, it’s second nature when someone’s life is at risk,” he said.

“I believe this man was very lucky to be at our gym that morning.”