June 19 seemed like a normal day in Twin Falls, but thanks to quick responses from several St. Luke’s off-duty staff members, a man is alive today that might not have made it through the lunch hour.
Nurse Natalie Young was out mountain biking with Dr. Jennifer Preucil, a family medicine doctor in the community.
She had taken a spill and the two were on the way to the bike shop to get Young’s bike fixed.
“We were on Eastland Drive and there was a white truck stopped in the middle of the stop light and both of the doors were open,” Young said.
“We pulled up next to the truck and saw two guys inside. We said, ‘Hey, are you guys ok?’ And a man said, ‘No.’”
The other man’s face was blue, Young said.
“We pulled him out of the truck and started compressions,” she said. “And then I heard a voice to my left that said she was a nurse, can I help? And that was Kris.”
Nurse Kris Ward was on her way to pick up her children from a dance class on Eastland Drive when she saw the situation unfold.
“I watched the truck not move and then the doors opened and I saw people pulling someone out of the truck,” she said. “I pulled into the intersection to help. They had just started CPR. So, I offered to help with CPR, and we did that pretty seamlessly.”
Then, Tenaya Smith, a certified nursing assistant from St. Luke’s Magic Valley’s emergency department, showed up and asked what she could do.
“We rotated in and out at that point doing CPR,” said Ward. “We had great teamwork.”
Twin Falls Fire and Magic Valley Paramedics arrived, and Magic Valley Paramedics took over, delivering the patient to St. Luke's Magic Valley.
With luck on his side, the man survived and received care at the hospital in the Intensive Care Unit.
“I’m in the unique position that I was one of the first responders and now I am in the ICU as a nurse taking care of him,” Young said. “That’s a really cool experience.”
“It’s extremely rare to have this type of an outcome,” she continued, “so, it looks like we did a good job. A few broken ribs, but he will get through that.”
“It’s really something to have this happen in the middle of Eastland with traffic and it being hot and in the middle of lunchtime with a positive outcome,” Ward said.
It’s a day no one involved will forget.
“It’s easy to freeze up and not know what to do,” Ward said. “But knowing how to do compressions is important. If everyone was comfortable doing CPR, we would have better outcomes.”
Young echoes that.
“Get CPR-certified. Even if you aren’t medical,” she said. “And be proficient in it.”
All involved said they just did what anyone else would do if they were in the same position.
“Very rarely does a CPR save occur; this is one of those cases,” Matthew Crane of Magic Valley Paramedics said, adding a special note of gratitude for the ad hoc St. Luke’s team of rescuers.“Thank you for your hard work and selfless patient care.”
Michelle Bartlome is the public relations manager at St. Luke's Magic Valley.