Quick action by golf pro gives man a chance at survival

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Todd Leonard, the head golf professional at Balcones Country Club, was about to leave work to run an errand for his wife when he learned of the emergency happening at the second hole. A man was lying unconscious on the cart path, not breathing.

“Blue, not breathing,” is how Leonard described the man when he approached him. Another member called 911 as Leonard began CPR, doing about 40 to 50 compressions until the man began to gasp.

Leonard said he, along with another employee of the course, were able to find his pulse, but lost it again. Austin EMS crews arrived minutes later and began their own life-saving measures and eventually took him to a hospital in Round Rock.

Leonard did not know who this man was, originally thinking he was not a member and actually snuck on the course. That is until he met the man’s daughter, Wendy Wells, a couple of days later. She told Leonard the man he performed CPR on was Oliver Stanley Tyler, known at the club as Stan.

The condition that Stan was in when he collapsed made him unrecognizable to Leonard, who was shocked to learn who he worked on. Leonard described Stan as one of the best members to be around at the club.

Wells said it was a miracle her father survived through the night. The nursing staff told her that her father was being worked on for 50 minutes in the emergency room as his pulse was going in and out.

“It was not looking good at that point. ‘You guys need to get here. We’re keeping him alive,’ is what they said,” Wells said, recounting the phone call they received from the hospital.

Stan is still recovering in the hospital with family by his side (Photo Courtesy: Wendy Wells).
Stan is still recovering in the hospital with family by his side (Photo Courtesy: Wendy Wells).

It was a combination of people that saved Stan’s life that day, but doctors tell Wells the quick action by Leonard to start performing CPR on him minutes after he collapsed was crucial.

“Gave him at least a chance to survive,” Wells said. She describes her father as the heart of the family and a bit of a goofball. She is forever grateful for Leonard’s quick actions on that day, calling him a hero.

Stan pictured with his wife (Photo Courtesy: Wendy Wells).
Stan pictured with his wife (Photo Courtesy: Wendy Wells).

“Just can’t wait to shake your hand, give you a hug. Tell you how much I love you,” Leonard said about Stan.

Wells said doctors believe Stan suffered cardiac arrest, but until they do a heart catheter procedure, they will not know for sure. Stan continues to recover in the hospital.

The importance of knowing CPR

Leonard learned CPR almost 25 years ago and had never had to use it until April 10. Austin EMS stresses the importance that everyone at least learn how to do this life-saving technique.

In situations like this, EMS stresses people to call 911 so you can speak with an operator who can even walk you through CPR as they send first responders your way. They also say that most businesses have an AED, and to be aware of where they are in your place of work.

Also, EMS says you must do something. It is better than doing nothing. Most people are afraid they are going to hurt someone by doing CPR the wrong way, but a spokesperson with Austin
EMS says anything you do will not be as bad as death.

You can sign up for the Austin EMS CPR Certification class here. Other agencies, like the American Red Cross, have online and in-person training classes as well.

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