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Pickleball players resuscitate man who collapsed, encourage others to learn CPR

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SANTA CLARA — A Utah man is lucky to be alive after a night on the pickleball court nearly ended in tragedy. He went into cardiac arrest and may have died, if not for the good Samaritans on the next court.

Paul Wagner, Sharon Grisham and Daniel Mills are regulars at Gubler Pickleball Courts in Santa Clara, in southern Utah. But nothing was regular about their experience on the courts the other day.

"We had a lot of people playing pickleball here," Wagner said.

"There was a gentleman and he was on the ground," Mills said.

"We rushed over and we found that he had a slight pulse and was gasping for air," Wagner said.

"He was trying to breathe, Dan could feel a pulse when we started watching him, and then, all of the sudden, he was turning blue," Grisham said. "We felt for a pulse, he was not responsive."

That's when Wagner's years of experience being a respiratory therapist took over.

"Our training just kind of kicked in and we were able to help this man," Wagner said.

The man was given several minutes of CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation before paramedics arrived and took over.

"The paramedics came and they took over shortly after they were able to get the defibrillator," Wagner said.

Soon, signs of life began to reappear.

"They said if he hadn't had CPR right away he probably would have died," Grisham said. "That was stressful to all of us, you know, because it could happen to any of us, at any time. For me it's just like, this was a good one, God let him live."

"It's just a matter of doing it and performing it, you know, it's not difficult and the benefits are lifesaving," Mills said.

The group said the gentleman did get released from the hospital and is now home safe and sound. They hope to see him back on the courts soon.

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Katija Stjepovic


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