Teamwork by pickleball teammates saves cardiac arrest victim

Muskegon County

WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — You just never know what life has in store for you.

Back in mid-July, Lynn Grant, Marty Green and Joe Wolters were playing their regular pickleball game at the Whitehall Township Park.

Suddenly, Grant called a time out.

“I felt great,” Grant said. “And the next thing I knew, I was in the hospital.”

What happened next turned the fellowship formed by the love of a sport into much more.

After calling 911, Grant’s teammates began CPR, with Wolters on chest compressions and Green providing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

The effort did what Grant’s heart couldn’t at the time: keeping blood flowing through his body.

Minutes seemed like an eternity until paramedics arrived. Green says one of the first words out of a paramedic’s mouth when they loaded Grant in the ambulance was that they had saved his life.

“I kiddingly, but not kiddingly, called them my angels. Because without them, I would not be here,” Grant said. “And I am just so thrilled that they weren’t fearful and wanted to step back and not do anything.”

At the hospital, Grant was placed in a medically induced coma.

Cardiologists went to work, placing an internal automatic defibrillator in Grant to make sure he has a backup plan if his heart stops again.

On Thursday, five weeks after his near-death experience, Grant returned to the court to visit his teammates.

During those five weeks, his teammates kept up on his recovery. But seeing is believing. So when Grant walked on to the court, the impact on their effort came full circle.

“He walked up, I got chills all down my arm with my hair standing on end. It was pretty awesome, ” said Marty Green.

“He’s doing rehab. He’s looking better than he did,” said Joe Wolters.

All three say there’s a few lessons they learned from the experience.

“I think the love of family, and the fact that people do need to do a little CPR training, Wolters said. ” If they offer it, I’m going back.”

Saving a life is something few of us will ever experience. It’s something Wolters and Green find difficult to put into words. But letters of thanks from Grant’s loved ones, especially one in particular, helped to bring it all into perspective: a letter from Grant’s grandson sent to Green and Wolters.

“Hi, I’m Mr. Grant’s grandson. I can’t thank you enough for saving my grandpa’s life. My grandpa is seriously one of the most kind and loving person l’ve ever met. He’s truly my hero. I can’t wait me maybe meet you in person,” the letter said.

“It was the sweetest letter I ever read in my life,” Wolters said.

Now the group has another mission: getting an automatic defibrillator close to the courts. If you’d like to help, contact Mary Johnson at mjohn0212@aol.com.

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