Detroit, MICH. (WXYZ) - Quick action by a physician and two nurses during a Red Wings home playoff game helped a Kalamazoo man survive a life-threatening medical emergency.
Kimberly Stanley and Natalie Johnson were seated in Section 215 on Sunday for game three of the first round Stanley Cup playoff series with the Nashville Predators. Toward the end of the second period they noticed a commotion in the lower bowl directly below them at Joe Louis Arena.
Stanley told Action News she initially thought security was trying to break up a fight. Instead, 30-year old Jason Ringman was being carried out of the seating after losing consciousness. The two emergency room nurses scrambled out of their seats to help Ringman.
"His color was very poor," said Stanley. "He was quite blue. We checked for a pulse and he didn't have a pulse. He wasn't breathing."
Stanley started chest compressions while Johnson called for an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). A physician attending the game joined the nurses in their effort to revive the man. Johnson said he controlled Ringman's airway as arena staff arrived with the AED.
"We were able to book him up and analyze him while we were doing CPR," said Johnson. "It asked us to shock him. We were able to defibrillate him twice. After the second one, we were able to bring him back."
Ringman was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital. He expressed his gratitude for the life-saving efforts of the nurses and doctor.
"They got me breathing fast enough that my brain didn't die when my heart stopped beating and definitely saved my brain and saved every bit of my consciousness," Ringman said from during a telephone interview from his hospital bed.
Ringman said an initial diagnosis by doctors identified Brugada syndrome as the cause of his fainting episode. Brugada syndrome is a genetic heart condition which often results in death. He is due to undergo surgery tomorrow to help treat the disease.
"I was very lucky to get playoff tickets but on top of that, being at the game instead of watching the game at home definitely saved my life," Ringman said. "The two nurses that were nearby--they wouldn't have been at my house, so they saved me."
Johnson works at DMC Huron Valley Hospital. Stanley works at Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, Michigan. The two were high school classmates at Walled Lake Central.
The Red Wings invited Stanley and Johnson and the doctor who treated Ringman back for game four as special guests of the organization. The Wings also extended the invitation to Ringman as soon as his health allows him to return to Joe Louis Arena.