By Argus-Courier Staff
SANTA ROSA - Santa Rosa Junior College swim team members, coaches and the head athletic trainer have been selected for recognition by The American Red Cross for Lifesaving Awards for saving Morgan DeSalvo’s life during swim practice on March 5, 2020. The virtual awards presentation will take place on Jan. 14 at 5 p.m., and is for the honorees, their friends, family, and coworkers.
DeSalvo, a 21-year-old freshman on the SRJC swim team, was born with aortic stenosis, a condition preventing the aortic valve from fully opening, which impedes blood flow from the heart. He has been able to safely engage in non-contact sports, including swimming, with cardiologists’ clearance.
Assistant coach, Nolan Stimple, was at the outside pool but knew there was trouble when he saw Denize running. Stimple had recently completed emergency medical technician training and took charge. He searched for DeSalvo’s pulse, but found none. He performed chest compressions and mouth to mouth resuscitation. Denize stabilized DeSalvo’s head and cleared his airway, enabling the release of fluid from his lungs.
Meanwhile, Ference ran to head athletic tainer and sports medicine and athletic training program director Dr. Monica Ohkubo’s office to tell her they needed to use the AED (automated external defibrillator.) When Dr. Ohkubo reached DeSalvo at the pool, McCormick had the AED machine ready to go. Ohkubo applied the AED pads to DeSalvo’s chest and shocked his heart back to life.
As an athletic trainer, Ohkubo is a certified, health care professional who works with doctors and other medical staff to provide preventative, emergency, and follow-up care to a variety of athletes. She is also a Red Cross CPR instructor who is well-trained and ready to use the AED. She credits the Red Cross for her skills practice. This was her first time using an AED in an emergency.