Kelly Rizner, membership associate at Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center-Huntley, regularly uses the phrase, “We’re not saving lives here,” when sarcastically describing how easy it is to enroll new members. After 8 p.m. Monday, March 1, she won’t be saying that anymore!
Rizner and Cindy Hock, manager, were talking with each other when a member frantically approached to tell them to call 911. There was a man down on the basketball court. Rizner and Hock rushed out, yelled to the control desk to call 911 and Code 99. They raced to the basketball court to find member, Joe Murtaugh, 43, Lake in the Hills, unresponsive and with no pulse. Rizner and Hock immediately began CPR.
The Code 99 was immediately announced over the speaker system, which alerted all Associates to respond immediately. Associates Jeremy Schwab and Lauren Sakiewicz arrived on the court with an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). Schwab, a firefighter and EMT, took over the compressions while Sakiewicz and Rizner set up the AED. Another Associate, Lydia Loehner, ran to help as well, holding Joe’s head in place while they proceeded. After one shock, Joe became responsive.
Murtaugh is in great shape and regularly works out at Health Bridge. He was playing basketball with two of his children when he suddenly became ill. After regaining consciousness, Murtaugh asked the Associates to please get his children because he knew they were worried. They were very relieved to see their father was okay. The ambulance, paramedics and Murtaugh’s wife, Donna, soon arrived. The paramedics took him by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Schwab visited the hospital later that evening and learned that Murtaugh was doing well.
After a big group hug, the Centegra Health Bridge Associates felt enormous relief and were delighted that they had just saved a life. On the way out of the gym, Hock turned to Rizner and said with a smile, “I don’t ever want to hear you say that we’re not saving lives around here!”
Lois Kuhn, Executive Director for Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Centers said, “This is what we prepare for with our mandatory, company-wide CPR training. Every Associate is required to be CPR certified. I’m very, very proud of our team. They acted quickly, efficiently and were able to save the individual’s life. Congratulations with the utmost appreciation and respect to all that were involved. It takes courage and a clear head to be able to respond in such an extreme situation.”
Donna said, “Joe and I are so very, very thankful to everyone at Health Bridge. The doctors told us that the quick response by everyone there and the AED saved Joe’s life. Had he been home or at work, where there are no AEDs, he would not have made it.”
This marks the third incident in just over a year in which Centegra Health Bridge Associates have reacted quickly and appropriately to save a member’s life.
Centegra Health System is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the residents of greater McHenry County and to making services available in multiple and convenient locations, including hospitals in McHenry and Woodstock, Immediate and Primary Care Centers, Centegra Sage Cancer Center, Health Bridge Fitness Centers and more. As the region’s leading healthcare provider, Centegra Health System continues to bring the latest treatments and technology, along with the skills of nearly 4,000 medical professionals, to meet the needs of the growing McHenry County community. For more information on Centegra Health System call 877-CENTEGRA (877-236-8347).