By Sarah Smith
A countywide CPR class will be held Sept. 14 at the headquarters of Hubbard First Responders, in the former Belle Taine Glass building on Birch Avenue in Park Rapids.
One of those who said she’d like to attend is Cheryl Sorenson, whose husband, Mark, suffered an SCA, a sudden cardiac arrest, while golfing July 25 in Park Rapids.
Cheryl had played that very same course the day before with Mark.
“If it would have been me I wouldn’t have known what to do,” she said. “His golf buddies saved his life.”
Since that day, July 25, many versions of Mark’s story, told by the 20+ people who lent a hand, are circulating. All, it turns out, were lifesavers.
The foursome, who did not want to be named, had just left the #16 green, said golf course owner Katherine Brose.
“The ranger had just talked to them,” Brose said. “Everybody was having a wonderful game. Actually Mark’s game was the best game he’d ever had.”
Then came the call to the clubhouse about someone collapsing on the #17 tee box.
“We didn’t have a defibrillator,” Brose said about the phone call. “Eagle Bay did.”
One golfer in the next foursome raced to the adjacent resort for the defibrillator.
Brose said in the meantime, two golfers were giving him chest compressions; the third gave him air.
“Everything went just fine,” she said. “We’re very happy for him. There was someone out there higher than us who was in charge.”
Cheryl Sorenson said the call jolted her because at the time her husband was being airlifted to Fargo for heart surgery.
The First Responders, who praised the golfers’ efforts, decided to schedule a countywide class after that incident.
“We did everything we could to save the guy,” one golfer said.
Cheryl Sorenson said the heart surgeon even praised the golfers’ efforts.
She is urging as many people as possible to take the “hands-on” CPR course that can be completed in less than an hour.
“I think it’s a great idea,” she said.
New schools of thought in emergency preparedness believe any chest compressions after an SCA will save a life. Mouth-to-mouth may not even be necessary.
The golfers also followed the instructions on the defibrillator and shocked Sorenson three times to get his heart back into rhythm.
“The directions are so simple a kid could follow them,” one of the golfers said.
The First Responders took over the lifesaving efforts upon arriving at the golf course.
“They did a great job,” said Jason Johnson of the golfers. “They kept him circulating until we got there.”
Cheryl Sorenson said Mark’s recovery is slow, but steady.
“He can play golf again in three months.”
The Sept. 14 course takes less than an hour and will be offered on the top of the hour every hour between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. that Saturday.
“Everything worked out for the best,” Brose said.
“He wouldn’t be here if they hadn’t started that CPR,” Cheryl Sorenson said.