Healthcare workers save local mans life at golf tournament

A Fort McMurray man is alive after he went into cardiac arrest following a round of golf, thanks to the swift action of Alberta Health Services healthcare workers that were nearby.

Shaun Hagan had been playing in a golf tournament on Sept. 18, 2021, with his wife Kim.

They went to the restaurant after finishing up and while the couple debated on what to eat, Shaun went into cardiac arrest.

Recalling the event, Kim said her husband began convulsing and at that point, she pleaded for friends seated nearby for help.

“Our friends immediately ran over and helped him onto the ground. I then yelled to everyone in the restaurant that we needed somebody to do CPR. One of his friends from the golf tournament rushed over and quickly started it,” explained Kim.

In a nearby banquet room, five healthcare workers from Fort McMurray’s Northern Lights Regional Health Centre (NLRHC) were just sitting down for dinner following a separate golf tournament.

Nickolas Castelli, a respiratory therapist at NLRHC commented that one of the tournament organizers knew who they were and went to them.

“In a calm manner, they told us there was an individual on the ground next door in some sort of medical distress. We knew right then what we had to do,” said Nickolas.

Registered nurses Samantha Castelli, Kelsey Hickey and Tasha Hofer, and respiratory therapists Tina Kuhr and Nickolas Castelli immediately went to Shaun’s aid.

“We identified we were healthcare workers, and the bystanders performing CPR let us jump in to help right away,” says Hickey.

The group had quickly begun a basic life-saving response.

During Shaun’s cardiac arrest, the health care team said he had lost and regained his pulse several times.

It wasn’t until after they applied three shocks to him with the automated external defibrillator (AED) and several rounds of CPR, that Shaun’s pulse returned to normal.

“As a healthcare team, we were just really excited and proud because it was such a textbook response. We all worked and communicated so well together,” Kelsey expressed.

Shaun received a pacemaker in hospital and was discharged after 11 days.

Recalling the event, Shaun says he remembers very little of what happened.

“I remember looking at the menu thinking yeah, this is what I’m going to order. The next thing I knew I was getting loaded onto the plane to take me to Edmonton,” Shaun said.

“Apparently I was apologizing to everyone for ruining the party,” Shaun said jokingly.

Prior to his cardiac arrest, he explained that he didn’t see or feel any signs that this was going to happen.

“I did not feel a thing. I had no idea it was coming. I thought back even a couple weeks prior, and there was absolutely nothing.”

Now months after his cardiac arrest Shaun says he’s feeling great and trying to stay active.

He hasn’t been back on the golf course since the incident and mentioned that there would be some trepidation getting back out.

“My son actually talked with me about it recently. He asked me, ‘are you going to go out there golfing again’ and I said absolutely I’ll be out there.”

The couple haven’t had a chance to thank the AHS team in-person for their actions that day.

Shaun said if he were to see them right now, he would call them “angels” and thank them for the amazing job that they did.

“I owe them my life.”

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