Acts Of Bravery Leave Lasting Impact

Friends Raven Moreno and Alyvia Binkley made a last-minute decision to squeeze in a workout before work. They met at the Stacy Center gym in Princeton, Missouri, to jog on the treadmills where Scott Lowe also happened to be exercising. A series of strokes six years prior left Scott with decreased muscular strength, low stamina, and what doctors referred to as “tired days,” times when he had little to no energy. To increase his stamina and combat chronic fatigue, Scott maintains a regular exercise routine at the Stacy Center, where he once worked as the manager. He was cooling down with a light jog on the treadmill when Raven and Alyvia were finishing their workout.

Suddenly, Scott began to feel dizzy. Due to his medical history, dizziness is something he’s learned to live with. His immediate thought was, “I have to turn off the treadmill.” And then he collapsed to the floor.

From fearful to focused

Across the gym, Raven and Alyvia heard a loud crash, followed by an ear-piercing scream from member Maria Rubio. Alarmed, they looked around and saw Scott, a former substitute teacher at their school, lying on the ground. He appeared to have fallen and hit his head.

Raven paused for a few seconds, watching to see if Scott would get back up. She quickly realized that something was very wrong when he didn’t move. Raven dialed 911 on her cell phone and the two women ran to see how they could help.

Alyvia immobilized Scott’s head to prevent further trauma, but Raven noticed that Scott was turning blue and had no pulse. Suspecting sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), Raven scrambled into position and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) compressions while another gym member, Derek Power, delivered rescue breaths. Raven yelled for someone to bring the automated external defibrillator (AED).

A heartfelt donation

Five years prior, Pearl Scurlock lost her husband to cardiac arrest. In the aftermath of her loss, she wanted to help her community. She purchased and donated a ZOLL AED Plus® to the Stacy Center to ensure that anyone suffering heart-related issues at the gym had easy and quick access to an AED. Years later that gift was helping save a life.

Just as suddenly as Scott fell, the ZOLL® AED appeared at Raven’s side. Gym member Kyle Berndt took over compressions so Raven could power on the AED.

She cut off Scott’s sweatshirt and t-shirt, applying the electrodes to his chest as instructed by the AED. The ZOLL AED Plus automatically analyzed his heart and delivered a defibrillating shock.

“If I had collapsed at home, I’d have died. The AED was absolutely essential to getting my heart going again and regulating my heart so that it could pump blood.”

— Scott Lowe
SCA survivor

Selfless support

Meanwhile, Maria Rubio called 911 and her babysitter to let her know that she’d be late picking up her children. She explained to Doug Priest, her babysitter’s husband and off-duty EMT, what was happening at the gym. Realizing the severity of the situation, Doug rushed to the center to help. He arrived just after Raven delivered the first defibrillating shock. Doug delivered two more shocks before Scott’s heart displayed a normal rhythm. Following the AED’s guidance, the rescuers worked together to continue CPR until EMS arrived. Scott remembers waking up in the ambulance and speaking with EMTs as they waited at the landing pad before airlifting him to a hospital in North Kansas City.

Health mystery unraveled

Tests showed that Scott’s heart had suffered an electrical failure. They also showed that his left anterior descending artery (LAD) was completely occluded, leading to Scott’s chronic fatigue and high number of “tired” days. Scott was in the cath lab for three hours while doctors opened his LAD and implanted two stents to ensure sufficient blood flow.

Scott also received an implantable cardioverterdefibrillator (ICD). After a short stay at the hospital, he was released and prescribed cardiac therapy. Thanks to the efforts of doctors in the cath lab, Scott was able to walk over 7 miles on his first full day of cardiac therapy! His therapist calls him an overachiever and his doctors call him the “miracle man.” Scott tells people, “It’s amazing what blood flow can do for you. My wife is amazed by the difference she sees in me.”

Living with gratitude

Dereck Power, Alyvia Binkley, Scott Lowe
(survivor), Raven Moreno, and Kyle Berndt.
Dereck Power, Alyvia Binkley, Scott Lowe (survivor), Raven Moreno, and Kyle Berndt.

Scott marvels at the fortuitous events that led to his survival that day. Brave bystanders stepped in, invaluable equipment donated years before was easily accessible, a chance phone call brought an EMT to help before emergency responders could arrive, and cardiologists and hospital providers who identified the cause of Scott’s heart issues worked diligently for hours to resolve them. And the connections go even further. “The two girls who saved my life went to the school I taught at and were two of my favorite students!”

Scott knows that the outcome could have been very different. “I am a miracle man. If I had collapsed at home, I’d have died. The AED was absolutely essential to getting my heart going again and regulating my heart so that it could pump blood,” he explains.

Scott speaks of how events unfolded with gratitude and talks about moving forward with a sense of renewed possibility. “I’m 73 years old and I’ve been given a new lease. I’m loving it and doing as much good as I can with my life,” says Scott.

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