ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Quick action by visitors and employees at the Ed Isakson YMCA has been credited for saving a man’s life on May 9.
Jasmine Amos, Carl Childers and a host of others were honored earlier this month by the City of Alpharetta for their response to a crisis in the locker room.
Childers recounted the incident shortly after a brief ceremony at City Hall Nov. 4.
He said he was in the locker room that day, when another man ran up to him exclaiming that he’d found a man he thought was having a seizure nearby.
“So, I jumped up and went around the corner, and I found him there, laying on the bench,” Childers said. “He was unconscious, and he was not breathing at that point.”
The man was Andy Diamond, and he had suffered a heart attack.
Childers and the other man placed Diamond on the floor and checked for a heartbeat. There was none.
“We started yelling for someone to help us, but no one could hear us,” Childers said. “We were way inside the locker room.”
Eventually, people heard the cries and a stream flooded into the locker room.
Childers ran out, grabbed the Automated External Defibrillator and tossed it to Jasmine Amos, a lifeguard who had cleared the pool when she heard the shouts.
“I ran into the men’s locker room with Debbie (Cousineau),” Amos said. “I told Debbie to call 911, and I told someone to get the AED.”
Childers had it before Amos could even administer CPR.
Amos deployed the device with the assistance of orthopaedist Dr. Moon Lee and delivered two shots.
She had started giving rescue breaths just as Alpharetta Public Safety personnel arrived. By then, Diamond had a faint pulse.
“When they came around the corner, it was like a scene in a movie where it’s slow motion, and the hero’s coming through,” Childers said. “I felt like I hadn’t breathed in 17 minutes.”
“It felt like two hours,” Amos said. “I was completely just adrenaline. I apologized to people afterwards because I kicked probably 10 people out of there. To this day, I do not know the woman — she had blond, curly hair — and I just said ‘move, move, move!’ I still want to apologize.”
Alpharetta Fire Capt. Marc Maikoski said the quick thinking and determined actions saved Diamond’s life.
“He’s here with us directly because of the heroes and citizens that were on scene before we got there,” he said. “When a life is saved, especially in a cardiac event, it is greatly attributed to the actions of the citizens that were on scene.”
Diamond said nothing during the residents’ account of the event.
Later, he said he wants everyone to recognize the value of stepping up during an emergency, whether one has medical training or not. AEDs come with simple, detailed instructions that anyone can use to help revive a heart attack victim, he said.
“Tonight’s the first time I’ve really heard those details,” he said. “I knew from a high-level standpoint what they had done for me, but to hear them describe the moment, and how they handled the pressure, is just amazing. Hero isn’t a strong enough word for all of them.”