Teammates shock heart attack victim during Kirkwood hockey game

11:54 PM, Nov 20, 2011   |    comments
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Kirkwood (KSDK)-- He had a massive heart attack in the middle of a hockey game. But Stephen Spiros, 59, was revived thanks to an automated external defibrillator or AED and some teammates who knew how to use it.

NewsChannel Five's Ann Rubin was there as Spiros was reunited with the people who saved his life.

The incident happened Monday at the Kirkwood Ice Rink.

Goalie Stephen Spiros was playing well, Little did he know someone else would have the best "save" of the night.

Spiros says, "I was having a good game and the next thing I know, I don't know anything."

Spiros had suffered a massive heart attack. But as he lay motionless, others took action.

First Craig Merrifield from the opposing team, ran for the AED. His own father had died from a heart attack, so he knew every moment mattered.

He says, "I know it at every rink, I know exactly where it is. I know which rinks have them, which rinks don't."

The Kirkwood rink has an AED. And thankfully, Spiro's teammate Don Guenther knew how to use it.

He had recently been trained on the device through his church.

Guenther says, "I held my finger there and somebody said push the darn button and I boom pushed the button."

It took two shocks, but by the time paramedics arrived, Spiros's heart was beating.

They say that AED made all the difference.

Guenther says, "The paramedics told us that if we wouldn't have responded so quickly, that we wouldn't still have a goalie on our team."

Jaguar's coach Brian Robinson says, "If Steve had been anywhere else, had he been at the store, the theater, the outcome would have been very different."

He spent nearly a week recovering at Des Peres Hospital.

And one of his first acts upon his release Sunday, thanking the men who saved his life.

He'll wear a portable defibrillator for now. But doctors say his prognosis is good.

So is his outlook.

He says, "God wasn't finished with me yet. So this was the first day of the rest of my life."

Doctors told Spiros no hockey for at least 90 days. In the meantime, he'll be cheering his teammates on, and talking up the importance of knowing how to use that AED.


























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