Team of guardian angels

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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS — Thanks to the help of multiple people, one man is alive. It happened at the ARC. Those involved say the results may have been different without the help of quick thinking and teamwork.

“The scenario we rehearsed wasn’t exactly the one I found.”  

Kim Hardin became a physical therapist more than 20 years ago. But this week, all those years of training paid off. She helped save a man’s life.

“I was enjoying my lunch. I was getting ready to go workout. I saw a commotion, my office looks out over the gymnasium.”

She and Elizabeth Evans work as athletic trainers for the Carle Sports Medicine Office at ARC. Their attention was quickly brought to the basketball courts.

“Everybody, even though we hadn’t talked to each other about what we were doing, everybody just intuitively knew what to do.”

They say a man was having a heart attack. First, other players started CPR. Then Hardin and Evans stepped in.

“Second instinct kind of kicks in. I wasn’t really thinking, all the training you go through those kind of practice scenarios.”

They started using a defibrillator. Without it, this might have been a different story.

“It was amazing and terrifying all at once.”

There are seven all around ARC. Directors say having them can make all the difference.

“The magnitude of students that come in the facility, it’s essential that we have them for their overall safety.”

Both women say, after an event like this, you get a new look on life.

“It’s quite a blessing to be involved in that, as a medical professional, but as a human being.”

“A little more grateful for what you have. You want to take advantage of everything and not take anything for granted. It makes you appreciate things more.”

The man is expected to recover. The Urbana Fire Department also assisted with this call.

Several others also helped out: Joe Cross, former Illini basketball player; Howard Milton, senior associate director of athletics development; and Dave Bagger, assistant director of campus adventure. 

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