July 11, 2014 9:11 pm

WATCH: Vernon woman saved by remarkable coincidence


VERNON – Having medical professionals at the right place at the right time likely saved the life of a Vernon woman when she went into sudden cardiac arrest on a local golf course in May.

The incident has spurred the golf club to take action so others won’t be relying on luck to survive if their heart fails.

Jeannie Duncan was golfing at the Vernon Golf and Country Club when she went into sudden cardiac arrest.

Her husband went for help and found it on the next hole.

The group playing just ahead all had medical training.

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“A golf cart came racing up to us and the male driver shouted ‘is there a doctor, is there a nurse here.’ Fortuitously two doctors and two nurses,” says anesthesiologist Alistair Duncan, who was part of the group that rushed to help.

Jeannie Duncan was not in good shape when help arrived.

“There was no pulse. She was not moving. She was blue in colour,” says Alistair Duncan.

The trained professionals jumped into action performing CPR.

Eventually first responders arrived with a defibrillator.

“She was shocked twice and she came back with the second one to have her own heart rate,” says Alistair Duncan.

After the incident, he contacted the golf course to suggest they buy a defibrillator.

“Because if we had been able to get her heart started more quickly the statistical evidence is there that the patient, this lady, would do better,” says Alistair Duncan.

“As it turned out this lady has done fantastically well but that is as much luck as anything else.”

The golf club now has an automated external defibrillator (AED) on site.

“With an aging population of members the likelihood of someone having a heart attack on our course is quite high and if it makes a difference in saving one life it is definitely worth the purchase,” says general manager Julie Knobloch.

Vernon recreation services has six defibrillators stationed at different facilities including the Vernon Civic Arena and Kal Tire Place.

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