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Cardiac Arrest Victim Alive Thanks to Off-Duty Nurse

Cardiac Arrest Victim Alive Thanks to Off-Duty Nurse

While attending a Bengals game in Cincinnati, Stacie Oxman (center) an intensive care nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital, went into action and used a portable defibrillator to revive a woman who had gone into cardiac arrest. (Chris Stewart/Staff photo)

Dayton Daily News

November 20, 2008

Both women marveled at the serendipity that brought them together at precisely the right moment. Gruenschlaeger is a 25-year Bengals season ticket holder. Oxman hadn’t been to a game in 20 years. A friend offered the tickets to her husband, nephrologist Mark Oxman. Stacie decided to bring her 13-year-old son, Nick Hornick, to celebrate making the eighth-grade basketball team at Central Middle School in Xenia. Unfamiliar with the stadium, she stopped at a restroom two levels down from her seats.

“I always believed nurses are special people, but she was a guardian angel to me,” Gruenschlaeger said.

Oxman is thrilled “that it all worked, everything I’ve been trained to do.”

The lesson here, she said, is that public places — churches, hospitals, schools — should be equipped with automatic external defibrillators, which offer detailed commands that can be followed by the layperson.

“You don’t have to be an ICU nurse to use them,” she explained.

“We’ve known for years these things save lives,” concurred Franz. “It’s a really amazing computer. You put pads on a patient, press a button and it analyzes the heart rhythm and it doesn’t shock them unless their heart isn’t beating properly.”

Gruenschlaeger is recovering rapidly from the angioplasty that opened up her blocked coronary arteries. Surgeons also implanted a pacemaker. She was released from the hospital Wednesday and returned to her home in Seven Mile, a small town north of Hamilton.

After visiting with her three grandchildren, her dearest hope is to meet Oxman along with Frost, and her other daughter, Nicole Hawk of Fort Recovery.

Both families share a similar view of their chance meeting.

“I know it sounds stupid, it sounds cliched, but I really believe someone put me in that bathroom that day,” Oxman said.

Frost summed it up simply: “God put her there.”

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