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City staffers save elderly man after cardiac arrest during tennis match

Four Mission Viejo City staffers are being credited with saving the life of a man who suffered a heart attack at the Marguerite Tennis Pavilion.

On July 1, longtime City staffer Sam Cho was playing tennis with a 74-year-old member of the Tennis Pavilion when the man suddenly went into cardiac arrest. 

“Sam immediately stepped into training mode, yelled to Jenny Choy to call 911 and our pro instructor Ryan Hill to grab an automatic external defibrillator,” said Community Services Manager Lydie Gutfeld of her staff members who are trained in CPR, first aid and AED. “Staff member Will Garcia who happened to be playing tennis after work started compressions as Ryan Hill set up the AED to analyze.”

The City team continued to work in unison administering CPR before and after the AED alerted them to apply the shock. They managed to restart the man’s heart and he began breathing on his own while they kept him comfortable waiting for paramedics to arrive. Doctors say the man will likely have bypass surgery to fix two blocked valves.

“Our staff had just completed their summer review of CPR/AED on June 24 to take action in an emergency," Lydie said. "They followed procedures perfectly and kept a very hectic situation calm. The doctors confirmed multiple times that we saved his life with effective emergency action. That’s a pretty solid compliment to our team and the hours we commit to training efforts.”


Submitted by Elizabeth K. (not verified) on Mon, 07/17/2017 - 10:44 pm


Wow! I know everyone @ Marguerite is wonderful, but this is amazing! There are only a few minutes to react in these situations & I can't even imagine how stressful this would be. You all are heroes!

Submitted by Carolyn Kruebbe (not verified) on Thu, 07/13/2017 - 5:24 pm


Thanks for sharing this story! I'm so proud of them all. Love hearing about local heroes and positive outcomes.

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