Without doing any research, I can safely say that pickleball has an older age demographic. But, when it comes to heart attacks on the court, age doesn’t matter and we are hearing more and more stories of players suffering heart attacks on the court. Some of these stories have “happy” endings, others sadly don’t.
I have not witnessed an incident, but I have heard several stories, and read about more on pickleball websites and Facebook pages.
One of my fellow club members recently collapsed on the court with what was later called the “widow maker.” Just from the sound of the name, you know it was serious. Jeff is in his mid 50’s, and it was his lucky day. (You can breath easy. He lived.)
Jeff was fortunate that day to be partnering with Dave, who knew CPR, as well as playing against a medical doctor. Quick action by others playing that day, contributed to saving Jeff’s life by calling 911, contacting his wife, and clearing the way for the rescue vehicle to get to the exact court location. Several days later, Jeff underwent multiple bypass surgery. That was in the fall. Jeff is back on the courts playing (as of January).
As a result of this terrifying incident, Dave (the guy who performed CPR) reached out to his employer to asked if they would consider helping to coordinate CPR lessons for members of the three local pickleball clubs. The company graciously provided an instructor and free classes to 20 members of each club. In addition, they also donated a portable AED to Jeff. Jeff in turn, donated it to one of the clubs.
In another incident in Colorado, a player went down. He too was lucky because someone knew CPR, and a former fire fighter was present. They, along with others were able to keep him alive until the rescue squad arrived and took over. He also lived.
Take a few minutes to watch this video from Pickleball Channel, telling of Rusty Howes’ experience, and how he saved a man’s life with CPR. You will be touched, and see how this simple training could save someone’s life…..maybe even yours.
Then go to www.heart.org/HandsOnlyCPR for further information on CPR training.
Don’t wait. Do this, before someone needs you. Will you be ready?
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