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Letter: Good Samaritans saved daughter’s life

Good Samaritans saved daughter’s life

This is the true account of the wonderful people who took action to save our daughter, Lynda Marino, on Sept. 12. Lynda was driving south on Transit Road in Lockport – with her 2-year-old daughter, Claire, in her car seat – when she experienced a cardiac arrest, rendering her unconscious.

A brave and charitable man, Chris James, noticed Lynda’s car driving very slowly and became concerned. He pulled alongside and saw Lynda slumped over. He stopped his car, and ran after Lynda’s moving car. He got in through the passenger door and turned off the ignition to stop the car. With Lynda slumped over the console, he couldn’t get the car out of gear or steer it off Transit Road. James called 911 and helped get her out of the car. These quick and effective measures not only saved her life, but prevented other accidents and injuries. We believe James saved both Lynda and Claire.

An unnamed driver became aware of the situation and pulled in front of Lynda’s car, prepared to force it to stop. Luckily that was not necessary.

Another couple, Peggy and Bill Killewald, stopped to help, getting the car safely off Transit. Bill initiated CPR, because Lynda had no pulse. Peggy got Claire calmed down, minimizing the trauma of the incident.

The first officer on the scene, David Ganz, initiated defibrillation, but Lynda remained unconscious. Fortunately Niagara County Sheriff vehicles are equipped with AED’s (external defibrillators). EMS arrived promptly and transported Lynda to Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport. She was subsequently transferred to Buffalo General Hospital. The Good Samaritans also include the Niagara County Sheriff, the EMS and the medical staffs. These were not “bystanders,” but concerned and proactive folks willing to get involved.

Lynda is now home with great prognosis for recovery. Her hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was addressed with a defibrillator/pacemaker implant. Cardiac rehab is helping to build her stamina. Unwitnessed cardiac arrest seldom has such a positive outcome, especially under these challenging conditions. These heroes showed bravery, strength, good judgment and generosity, and deserve special recognition.

Susan and Barry Minbiole

East Amherst