Cardiac arrest survivor thanks people who saved his life

A man who went into cardiac arrest at Koko Head District Park earlier this year was reunited Monday with the people who helped him survive.

The ceremony was held as part of a kickoff to National Emergency Medical Services Week, which runs from May 21-27, 2017.

On Feb. 28, Danny Tengan was playing pickleball in the gymnasium when he collapsed.

Department of Parks and Recreation employee, Brittany Balanay, and Tengan’s friend, Bert Matsuoka, rushed to his aid. Balanay placed an Automated External Defibrillator on Tengan’s chest and shocked him while Matsuoka performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

“I ran to go get the AED, because that’s the only thing I could remember, get the AED. So I grabbed the AED from the office, brought it to him, and everybody was just such a big help. Everyone was taking out the pads and putting it on him, so it was a huge group effort for sure,” Balanay said.

When they got to the gym, city paramedics Teresa Allen and Casey Nichols intubated Tengan, administering medication, and restored his pulse.

Officials say all of their quick actions helped save Tengan’s life.

“I’m here. I’m alive, thanks to their quick reaction,” Tengan said. “All the parks personnel have the training, CPR, as well as handling AED, and a lot of people should be more involved in CPR and knowing how to use the AED. That’ll save more lives.”

Tengan was in the hospital for about a week and continues to recuperate at home. He says he still coaches and instructs pickleball, but won’t be able to play for another few months.

In 2016, Honolulu EMS answered over 108,000 911 calls, responded to 86,000 emergencies, and transported more than 55,000 patients.

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