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|TCRC 660 member Derek Thompson saves passenger’s life|
September 23rd 2011 | Source: Toronto Star
Rescue on Platform 12: GO hero saves passenger’s life
George Koshil was hustling to
catch his Pickering-bound GO train on Sept. 7 when everything
Just as the 5:10 p.m. train pulled in to Union Station, Koshil, who had been scheduled for coronary artery bypass surgery in late October, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on Platform 12.
The 60-year-old Scotiabank technology manager was lucky GO customer service ambassador Derek Thompson was in the vicinity.
“A woman came running up from the end of the platform, yelling that a man had collapsed,” Thompson said. “He was pale and turning blue with about one breath a minute.”
After about four minutes Koshil stopped breathing, so Thompson, 26, fastened a portable automated external defibrillator to Koshil’s chest and hit the shock button. He then performed 10 seconds of CPR before Koshil coughed and started breathing.
Paramedics arrived soon after and rushed Koshil to St. Michael’s Hospital. His surgery was bumped up to Sept. 12.
“I knew I was overexerting myself,” said Koshil, now recovering at his Scarborough home. “I should have let the train go and caught a later one.”
GO customer service reps receive first aid and CPR training and are instructed to bring an automated defibrillator to any emergency.
Koshil and Thompson have yet to meet. Thompson, who lives in Pickering, has reached out to the family after a thank you message was published in t.o.night’s “Shout Out” section last weekend. He was recently awarded a certificate of recognition by GO Transit.
“I couldn’t imagine my family members going through this without anyone around them,” said Thompson, who had never used CPR, let alone an automated defibrillator. “I was trying to stay calm and confident and do the best I could.”
Thompson wasn’t the only Good Samaritan at the scene.
Koshil had just purchased a 10-ride ticket and it was still in his hand when he fell unconscious. The stranger who retrieved the ticket saw the “Shout Out” and emailed in, explaining she had slipped it into Koshil’s briefcase.
“I checked last Friday and it was there,” Koshil said. “Not only is there that feeling that people are willing to help, but there are honest people out there who won’t take advantage of a situation.”
GO Transit has about 100 automated defibrillators scattered across its rail network. According to the Toronto Safe City program, the devices have been used 16 times in the GTA since September 2010, saving the lives of nine people.