Nanaimo hockey player given CPR by opposing goalie after cardiac arrest

It was the biggest save in Darren Chadwick’s career.

A rec goalie in a Nanaimo Oldtimers league, Chadwick saw a commotion on the opposing team’s bench last Thursday. When he got there, he saw 34-year-old Kelly Reagh collapsed on the ground.

Reagh had suddenly gone into cardiac arrest, the result of an pre-existing heart condition that hadn’t been diagnosed.

Chadwick, who had over 20 years of first aid experience, immediately began CPR.

“He was unresponsive, so I started chest compressions,” he said. “We started right away.”

Also nearby was an automated external defibrillator the city of Nanaimo keeps at its rinks. They’ve saved lives in six of the seven cases they have been used.

Between the CPR and defibrillator, Reagh was breathing by the time emergency personnel got on scene.

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Today, Reagh is in hospital, recovering and getting ready for surgery next week.

“The odds of him surviving an episode like this was 1 per cent…he’s the luckiest guy in the world,” says his wife Ali.

“They really were working a miracle that night.”