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‘Pickleball heroes’: Players save woman from heart attack

A local pickleball coach is calling her players heroes after a woman had a medical emergency on the court.

Instructor Mary Barsaleau says the sport isn't a very dangerous one, but earlier this month it was a life or death situation when a player in her tournament hit the ground.

"It was a heart attack," Barsaleau said. "We had her on her back, we had to cut off her clothing and give compressions."

The player was in her mid 40s. She had participated in several rounds at the June 5 tournament, which was indoors and air conditioned.

Kristin Anderson, a player from La Quinta, ran to open the woman's airway and give rescue breaths.

"I did the breathing mouth-to-mouth, somebody else did the compressions, somebody else checked the pulse, somebody else went to get the AED," Anderson said. "We acted like a really cool team."

The group used an Automatic External Defibrillator, or AED, to analyze the woman's heartbeat until paramedics got there. She was brought to Eisenhower health in Rancho Mirage and is recovering.

"That was really a wake up call... anybody can go down at any age" Barsaleau said. "It's a reminder that all of us that are out doing activities need to get certified in CPR."

Ultimately, she said, it was players' CPR training that day that made all the difference. "Her doctor...said that if the people that were there before the EMTs had not done what they did, she would have died," Barsaleau said.

"I am so glad that I was informed and it was it. It was not a second of thought it was very easy to perform," Anderson said.

For information from the Red Cross about how to get CPR certified, click here.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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