It was the end of a regular summer afternoon at Concord’s Minute Man Arc for Human Services — until Brian collapsed.
When the longtime client of Arc — which provides services and support to the disabled — fell to the ground, staff rushed to help.
Barbara Jean White, director of employment and clinical services, found Brian wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. She started CPR.
Fellow staff members Rob Ferragamo and Chris Chagnon grabbed the defibrillator. Physical Therapist Kristin Sandler and Occupational Therapist Rachel King helped continue CPR, Tammy Mariani spoke to 911, and Sam Streisand gathered medication information for first responders.
“The team worked together quickly and beautifully to keep Brian alive until the EMTs arrived to take over,” Minute Man Arc CEO Jean Goldsberry said of the June 28 incident. “We are immensely proud and thankful to them for keeping calm and jumping into what they were trained to do. They are true lifesavers.”
Emergency personnel took Brian to Leahy Hospital & Medical Center. His first words upon waking up: “I am ready to go home now.” He’s since gotten that wish: Doctors implanted a defibrillator the following week, and Brian was released to recuperate at home.
“It was the perfect storm with a good ending,” White said.
Concord Fire Chief Thomas Judge lauded the Arc workers’ quick response as “absolutely responsible” for saving Brian’s life: “Without medical staff or equipment, there are really only two things that can be done in the field to impact a cardiac arrest patient’s chance of survival; those are high quality CPR and early defibrillation.”
Brian’s brother, Michael, shared his gratitude: “The staff knew exactly what to do. You were trained and acted immediately. You are all heroes to our family,” he said.
“Thanks to you, we have Brian.”