Lifeguards Ryan Uppal, Anthony Mauricio and Grace Marginson (front row, left), along with Gavneet Sabharwal (not pictured), were honoured Sunday at a BC Emergency Health Services Vital Link Award ceremony for saving the life of 14-year-old Alex Romero Gomez (far right) when he collapsed with a cardiac arrest at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex last July. (submitted photo)

Rec centre staff honoured for their help to revive teen who collapsed in weight room

BC Emergency Health Services presented Vital Link awards to four City of Surrey employees on Sunday

Four staff members at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex have been hailed for their work to revive a teen who went into cardiac arrest there last summer.

Alex Romero Gomez, then 14, collapsed while using the facility’s gym on July 16.

To his aid came gym staff member Anthony Mauricio and lifeguards Ryan Uppal, Grace Marginson and Gavneet Sabharwal, who used life-saving cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and an AED until paramedics arrived on the scene.

For their quick work, the four City of Surrey employees were given Vital Link Awards by BC Emergency Health Services on Sunday (Oct. 20) at the recreation centre, where three of the four award-winners – Marginson, Uppal and Mauricio – met with Alex.

The agency presents such awards “to honour those who perform CPR during an emergency,” according to a media advisory.

“These brave people represent our link to a patient’s successful survival. For every minute that passes without help, a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest drops by about 10 per cent.”

• RELATED STORY, from Sept. 13: Mom wants defibrillators put into Surrey schools after teen son’s cardiac arrest.

As a result of the incident, Alex’s mom, Esmeralda Gomez, wants automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) put into schools.

“He (Alex) just received one shock and that one shock with CPR was enough to… get the pulse back,” Esmeralda told the Now-Leader in September.

After that, Alex went into a coma for 12 hours. He was first taken to Surrey Memorial Hospital, but then transferred to B.C. Children’s Hospital.

“We were told it was a stage-three coma which is the worst of the worst and he had about less than 15 per cent chance of living,” Gomez said.

When Alex woke up, he was put in the ICU for 24 hours before moving to the cardiology section of the hospital for 11 days.

As of September, the cause of Alex’s cardiac arrest was still unknown. Gomez said the tests came back “normal,” and he’s since had a genetic test done, the results of which will take about three to four weeks.

“As of right now, we have no answer. Nobody can figure out why it happened.”

In a PSA, BC Emergency Health Services says while it may seem intimidating to do CPR and apply an AED, it is not.

“CPR can be administered by anyone who has basic training, and it’s easy to learn,” the agency says.

“CPR is a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions that keep blood circulating in a person who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped beating naturally.

“When you call 9-1-1, medically trained BCEHS call takers can coach bystanders through hands-on CPR.

“Most importantly, CPR and AEDs can dramatically increase the survival rates of someone in cardiac arrest.

“The minutes following a heart attack or cardiac arrest are critical to the health and survival of a patient.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

APRIL 2: More hand sanitizer brewing, help announced for those on income & disability assistance

Surrey brewery distilling hand sanitizer in effort to fight pandemic

Central City Brewers is producing it in bulk and ‘more convenient’ sizes

Quarantined Surrey mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Cloverdale’s Christine Williamson shares her family’s challenges, strengths

Claiming she has COVID-19, stranger coughs in Cloverdale woman’s face

Clayton Heights woman will now self-isolate for the next two weeks

‘We don’t need this right now’: B.C. man breaks up road rage incident

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road in Saanich on Vancouver Island

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

UFV student nurses offering respite to frontline nurses, care aides

Website helping to match volunteers with those who need help with daily errands

B.C. adding $300 to monthly income and disability assistance payments

‘Crisis supplement’ for COVID-19 for April, May and June

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

Migrant worker advocates blame feds, employers for COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. garden store

Migrant farm worker group calls on government for adequate health and safety requirements

Fraser Valley care home has two confirmed cases of COVID-19

Two residents at Mission’s Chartwell Cedarbrooke Retirement Residence have been diagnosed

Most Read

l -->