Group rushes to save soccer player who suffered heart attack - KPTV - FOX 12

Group rushes to save soccer player who suffered heart attack

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MILWAUKIE, OR (KPTV) -

A group of bystanders jumped into action and saved a man's life after he collapsed on a soccer field in Milwaukie on Sunday afternoon.

George Lupu, 60, was playing in an adult soccer league at La Salle High School when he suffered a heart attack. His team, holding a 4-0 lead, was walking off the field for halftime when he collapsed.

Lupu stopped breathing and turned blue, witnesses said. Six people, including a doctor and an off-duty paramedic who happened to be at the field, rushed to his aid.

"We started doing chest compressions, so there was a team of us on either side of George. And we would trade off doing compressions and working on his airway," said Rustam Kocher, who helped perform CPR. "And there was a guy keeping his feet on the bench to keep them elevated."

Meanwhile, one of the players ran into the school to grab a portable defibrillator. The tool made a difference between life and death, Clackamas firefighters said.

Five years ago, Clackamas firefighters helped La Salle High School get a grant for the defibrillator equipment. Athletic Director Brian Crawford said it's fortunate the school had one ready.

"They've been something we're happy to have, but haven't had the opportunity to put them into use," Crawford said. "So it's just really fortunate that we had it."

Kocher, the coach of the opposing team, said he's relieved he and his friends knew what to do.

"It's scary," he said. "I get goose bumps just talking to you about it. It's not something fun to do, but you have to be able to do it."

Lupu is recovering at Providence Portland Hospital.

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