EMS Newsroom

EMS plan saves second man in senior games

Wednesday June 27, 2007

By Jessie Halladay
The Courier-Journal

Norman Meyer watched his jump shot from the corner of the free throw line go into the basket.

Then he collapsed in cardiac arrest -- no heartbeat, no breath.

"If what happened any place else, I probably wouldn't be alive today," Meyer, 64, said yesterday from his bed in the intensive care unit at Norton Audubon Hospital. 

Meyer was playing in a National Senior Games basketball tournament Monday night with his Pennsylvania team when he fell to the floor at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Within a minute, a Metro EMS team was on the court to shock his heart and resuscitate him. He will undergo bypass surgery this morning.

The care came quickly because Metro EMS planned to post units at events at each of 13 venues during the games being held in Louisville through July 7.

To provide that coverage, EMS has readjusted schedules, postponed all in-service training and worked with hospitals to move ambulances in and out more quickly, said Dr. Neal Richmond, director of EMS.

It's an effort Meyer appreciated. Meyer said he didn't expect to have trouble while in Louisville, since he's competed in five senior games over the past 10 years.

"I'm lucky to be here," he said. "The Senior Games have done such a wonderful job preparing."

Meyer was the second person to collapse in cardiac arrest since the games opened Friday.

On Friday, during a practice mixed-doubles tennis match at the University of Louisville, John Bates, 62, of Townsend, Tenn., collapsed. He was also quickly revived by an EMS crew and is also at Audubon recovering.

Reporter Jessie Halladay can be reached at (502) 582-4081.