Sometimes it’s all about being in the right place at the right time.
Such was the case when 61-year-old James Pitts suffered a cardiac arrest during a hockey game in North Charleston.
His teammates acted quickly, ultimately saving his life.
On March 13, the North Charleston hockey team, the Trash Pandas, thought it would be just another game at the Carolina Ice Palace.
Until the game suddenly stops when one of their own goes into complete cardiac arrest.
“The first thing that came out of my mouth was, what happened, you know?” James Pitts said. “And Dave said man you were dead for about four or five minutes. I was like what? And yeah, you passed out on the bench, you got resuscitated and they got you to the hospital. I was like, wow.”
Fortunately, one of his teammates, Tom Donnelly, and two other people swung into action.
“Within 30 seconds the chest compressions started, which is the most important thing you can do,” said Donnelly, CPR coach and Trash Pandas athlete.
Pitts said that despite everything, he was grateful to know where and when the incident happened.
“Fortunately, everything went well,” he said. “I’m really lucky that the stars are aligned and it’s also lucky that it happened at the rink which is only one exit, about 2 miles from Trident Medical Center.”
He also hopes that by sharing his story, it will save future lives.
“It’s never too late and it’s important to learn how to perform CPR and use an AED because you can save someone’s life,” he said.
Through it all, he says he won’t be hanging up his skates anytime soon.
“I will never stop playing hockey no matter what,” he said.