NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (WKTV) - A 66-year-old Lewis County man could have lost his life, on Saturday during America's Greatest Heart Run and Walk, after he suffered some type of cardiac malfunction, leaving him without a pulse. If it weren't for the life-saving efforts by multiple healthcare personnel, Michael Wofford of Glenfield may not have survived the tragic event.
Thankfully, according to one of the doctors who was on the scene at the time helping to save Wofford's life, who is currently in stable condition and well enough to eat.
Dr. Bradley Sklar is a gastroenterologist in Utica helped save Wofford's life. He was walking with 200 others at the heart walk as part of 'Team Ben,' a group they've been walking for the past six years. Sklar said he was in the last mile when he noticed someone needed help.
"We were walking down Burrstone Road and I heard commotion and out of the corner of my eye I saw commotion. Someone said Brad, we need your help, we need a doctor. I started walking over to what I saw was a person down on the ground."
According to Sklar, Wofford was blue and without a pulse. He began administering CPR while nurse, Courtney Daviau, was assisting giving Wofford mouth-to-mouth. Sklar had called for help which is when state troopers stepped in, using an AED to shock the man's heart. It took two AED shocks before a pulse was brought back.
Sklar said," There was a lot of people doing things at the time. A nurse was on the ground checking to see if his airway was OK, I was doing CPR, someone else was doing the AED. It was truly a joint effort."
The reason Sklar was walking in the Heart Run and Walk in the first place is because of his son, Ben. Ben Sklar was born with a congenital heart disease. Sklar believes if it weren't for cardiac research and the technology used to help save his son, he may not be here.
Ben Sklar has lived a full life. The 18-year-old is currently looking at colleges. He has played on numerous sports teams and has never let his heart defect get him down. He is proud of his dad for paying it forward, "I want to give back to the community because heart disease research is important. "
Sklar believes everyone should know CPR. He had to administer the practice on two patients within the last two months, " The other thing that is so amazing is the American Heart Association teaches us all how to do CPR, so how ironic is it that your CPR protocol from the American Heart Association is used here; your using it during the American Heart Association walk."