A 10-minute window marked a life-changing moment in a Huron man’s existence.
“A million things could have gone wrong and a handful of things went right,” said salesman Brad Rounds, of a life-changing event that occurred at Foothills Truck Services in Wessington Springs. “Ten minutes earlier or later would’ve made all the difference. That short time frame is pretty profound.”
On November 15, 2019, parts salesman Brad Rounds was making a routine visit to Foothills Truck Services. Shortly after arriving at the Wessington Springs business, Rounds went into cardiac arrest and collapsed.
Owner Doug Flowers and employee Cody Barber were quick to react and immediately started CPR, trading off administering chest compressions while calling 911. Across Dakota Avenue, at the American Legion/Prairie Lounge, Jerauld County Ambulance EMT Heidi Dornbusch was at work when she heard the call on her emergency-responder pager. She and Jerauld County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Krueger were next on the scene and immediately began to assist Flowers and Barber with chest compressions. Soon after, the Jerauld County Ambulance crew made up of Dick Powell, Eric Schroeder, Becky Leslie and Tabitha Willman took over providing lifesaving treatments to Brad, including administering shocks to his chest with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and rushing him to Avera Weskota Memorial Hospital.
Upon his arrival to the hospital, Brad’s heart started beating again. Hospital staff immediately began utilizing a LUCAS chest compression system and went to work on stabilizing Rounds.
The men and women that saved Rounds’ life were honored in a Lifesaver Award presentation held last Friday at the gymnasium at Wessington Springs Elementary School. Rounds was on hand to help acknowledge the crew, while each lifesaver received a certificate presented by Jerauld County Sheriff Jason Weber and Avera Weskota Memorial Hospital nurse, Sara Cashman, RN.
“I was in the right shop, with the right people, in a nice community that had a LUCAS and an AED,” Rounds said to the group after the presentation. “I greatly appreciate these unsung heroes. I’m glad you did all this for little old me.”
Cashman was one of the nurses on duty at the hospital in Wessington Springs that November day, and played an integral part in spearheading the Lifesaver Award presentation.
“These people need to be recognized,” she said. “With a cardiac arrest situation like this, to not have to give any shocks or any meds at the hospital is rare. They definitely made my job easier.”
While on-call provider Meghan Torgerson, FNP-C, Mariah Lord, RN, and Cashman cared for Rounds in person, providers in telemedicine network Avera eCARE Emergency helped serve as a second set of eyes and ears and arrange for a helicopter transfer to Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls.
Once Rounds arrived in Sioux Falls, doctors induced a coma and dropped his body temperature.
Rounds’ wife Toni, recalls the anxiety she and the couple’s three daughters experienced in the hospital while waiting for him to wake up.
“We kept on wondering how he would be when he woke up, if he suffered any brain injury,” she remembered. “Cardiac arrests like Brad’s can quickly lead to irreversible brain damage. So we were just there with him and we waited.”
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