LSU students rescue professor who went into cardiac arrest while swimming
BATON ROUGE - A group of LSU students is being praised by the university for saving the life of a professor who went into cardiac arrest on campus.
A news release from the school says LSU Boyd Professor James Oxley went into sudden cardiac arrest while swimming laps at the UREC's indoor pool July 5.
“I was less than halfway through my regular swim when I stopped swimming. I don’t really know why I stopped,” Oxley said. “Evidently I slipped under the water and came back up and then fell across the lane ropes. John Foster, another swimmer, as well as one other person who we don’t know yet, dragged me out.”
A group of students, who work at the UREC, put their training to use. They were able to revive Oxley before paramedics arrived, and he was transported to the hospital by Baton Rouge EMS
"Without their initial response and treatment, the outcome could have easily been much worse. We always hope these actions will prompt others to learn CPR and be prepared to assist the public when needed,” said Mike Chustz, with Baton Rouge EMS.
The students’ training is part of the UREC’s team supervisor training initiative. Ninety student supervisors work at the UREC, helping manage the other 300 student employee positions. They go through a four-hour training session three times each year. Lifeguards are also required to complete 21.5 hours of basic lifeguard training.
Doctors at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital implanted a device to improve Oxley’s cardiac health, made up of a defibrillator and a pacemaker. They said the students' swift actions likely rescued Oxley from suffering permanent heart or brain damage.
Oxley said he’s grateful to these eight students for saving him:
-Katie Estes of Memphis, Tenn.: lifeguard at the greeter position. Provided initial assessment and first round of rescue breathing.
-Isabella Alvarez of New Orleans, La.: lifeguard on-stand. Radioed code red, administered AED and provided additional care.
-Evan Young of Mandeville, La.: aquatics supervisor. Provided assessment and CPR compressions.
-Jude Hinson of Baton Rouge, La.: adventure attendant at climbing wall. Assisted with AED, provided second round of rescue breaths.
-Tyler Mattingly of Ashburn, Va.: facilities assistant. Notified EMS.
-Kristen St. Cyr of New Orleans, La.: adventure supervisor. Assisted emergency responders from front of the building to the scene.
-Caila Palmer of New Orleans, La.: facilities supervisor. Assisted in general team response.
-Joshua Brignac of Baton Rouge, La.: fitness supervisor. Assisted in general team response.
Oxley, who is one of the university's most respected professors, says he's hopeful he'll be able to return to the pool in the near future.