Bystanders rally to save pitcher

One evening in August, while warming up to pitch a game for the Knoxville Stars, Ed Boling felt faint and suddenly had difficulty breathing. He walked to the dugout in the Knoxville, Tennessee, Sportspark, removed his face covering, and collapsed to the ground.

A team effort

Alexus Flood and Dean Longmire alerted Jennifer Gentry, Sports Operations Manager, that someone had collapsed on the field. Jennifer sprinted the 20 yards to grab one of five ZOLL AED Plus® automated external defibrillators kept on site. Teammate Dan Deremer and concession stand volunteer Nicolsha Scott immediately began CPR. Jennifer traded Nicolsha the AED for her cell phone and shouted, “Just put the pads on and it walks you right through it,” as she called 9-1-1. Umpire Justin Conley assisted Dan with compressions while Nicolsha connected Ed to the AED.

Jennifer didn’t even recognize Ed. “I believed honestly and truly that he was dead. His face was blue and swollen. I’ve never witnessed anything like that in my life,” Jennifer recalls. The ZOLL AED Plus instructed the rescuers to continue compressions and it delivered one shock. Ed began breathing on his own before the EMTs arrived to transport him to the hospital. There he underwent a quintuple bypass and repair to his mitral valve before leaving the hospital 10 days later. One of Ed’s arteries was 90% blocked,
while the others were blocked 60% or more.

Ed Boling (left) holding a ZOLL AED; Jennifer Gentry’s (right) quick response helped save his life.

A lifesaving investment

Jennifer believes that the ZOLL® AEDs kept at the Sportspark are “money well spent.” This was the first time they’d ever had to use one in a rescue. “The AED Plus is a great device and everything
worked as it was supposed to,” she says.

“I’m just so blessed and fortunate that [everyone there] stepped up to help me . . . not everyone has the fortitude to do what they did.”

– Ed Boling, SCA survivor

Ed is extremely grateful to all who helped. “I’m just  so blessed and fortunate that [everyone there] stepped up to help me . . . not everyone has the fortitude to do what they did,” says Ed. He and his doctors are considering implanting a permanent defibrillator, but until then Ed wears a ZOLL LifeVest® wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) each day to ensure that his heart doesn’t go into ventricular fibrillation again. Two months after the incident, Ed feels more like himself and is looking forward to getting back on the ball field.

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