WAYNE, NJ - At Wednesday's Wayne Town Council meeting, Mayor Vergano and the Wayne Town Council recognized three "Angels" who saved a life at the YMCA on September 12.
Pat McGovern, a dispatcher with the Wayne Police Department works out at the Wayne YMCA on a regular basis. It’s his routine, but that routine was thrown off on September 12 when he came out of the locker room to find Don Osur unconscious on a treadmill.
McGovern is trained in CPR and other basic life-saving skills, so he knew immediately what to do. First was a call for help and to get someone to call 911 while he checked Osur’s vitals.
Osur had no pulse and was not breathing.
For most of us this would be a time to panic, but McGovern’s training kicked in and he remained calm.
Joe Nazare is a Health and Wellness Coordinator at the YMCA. "A member ran up to me all excited, saying somebody fell," said Nazare. "I came up from my office expecting to see someone had tripped." When Nazare understood the gravity of the situation, he immediately ran for an AED. “AED” stands for automated external defibrillator which measures a heart’s rhythm and delivers an electric shock to restore a normal rhythm.
Osur was not having a heart attack, he had suffered from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), which is an electrical malfunction that causes the heart to stop beating.
“90% of the people who have SCAs die from them,” said Osur. With the heart stopped, blood flow is cut off from the vital organs, and it’s only a matter of minutes before death follows an SCA. “I just happened to have several angels, including Joe and Pat and Bill and I had it at the right place,” said Osur.
Luckily for Osur McGovern and Nazare arrived within minutes and were able to apply the AED properly to deliver a shock to the heart and get Osur’s heart beating again.
McGovern then applied CPR while Bill Kanas, the Associate Executive Director at the Y, who had come over to help, used a breathing mask to provide rescue breaths for the still unconscious man. It was only a minute or two before Osur revived, blinking his eyes and asking in confusion: “What’s going on?”
Osur goes to the Y to work-out every day. “I’d just finished my first mile on the treadmill and had stopped for water before starting my second mile, but I never started it,” said Osur. “The next thing I remember, I’m lying on my back staring up at Pat and Joe and Bill.”
McGovern didn’t have time to process his feelings during the event. His mind was too busy on what he needed to do. Afterward, the feelings came, and he realized that fear was strong early on. “I remember thinking that this was it for this guy. I was scared,” said McGovern.
It wasn’t until after the Wayne First Aid Squad arrived and took over the scene did McGovern begin to feel the euphoria of what had happened. “When I knew he was going to be alright, I had a huge smile on my face,” said McGovern.
“The best feeling I had was when I saw him days later, alive and well and walking around,” said McGovern.
“When he did open his eyes, it was amazing,” said Kanas.
Executive Director for the YMCA, Laura Tiedge was proud of her team. "At the Y we focus on a culture of safety along with a culture of community. This was an outstanding example of both cultures coming together to make a difference in the life of a YMCA member."
Captain Dan Daly of the Wayne Police Department said: "Pat is an excellent employee who stepped in when he saw someone in need and performed well. We are very proud of him."