CrossFit athletes go from working out to working together to save a life.
Jasmine Beede, RN, had an experience unlike any other of her twelve years as a nurse at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center’s Progressive Care Unit (PCU).
At a special Saturday workout fundraising event at CrossFit i1uvit in Lynden, Washington, Jasmine was in the midst of her workout when she observed another CrossFitter named Rhett Bowlden collapse.
Fellow CrossFit athletes spring into action
She and several others sprang into action without hesitation. Upon discovering that Rhett had no pulse, Jasmine made the call to begin CPR and kept Rhett’s airway open as Patrick Williams, a firefighter from the Everett Fire Department, began CPR.
Matt Lovelady, co-owner of CrossFit i1uvit and a firefighter with the Seattle Fire Department, was soon able to shock Rhett’s heart with an automated external defibrillator (AED) and briefly took over CPR before Rhett regained consciousness.
By the time the ambulance arrived nine minutes later, Rhett was fully coherent and even noted that he felt “pretty normal.” He coincidentally ended up as a patient in Jasmine’s professional home in PCU at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center.
He later learned that his cardiac arrest had been caused by a rare cardiotoxicity resulting from a chemotherapy drug—unrelated to exercise—and felt incredibly grateful to have been at the gym when it happened—surrounded by qualified heroes like Jasmine, Patrick and Matt, in close proximity to an AED.
A team effort
As Jasmine reflected about this fateful day, she noted that it was a collaborative effort with many others involved—whether praying, calling 9-1-1 or standing outside to direct the ambulance to the building.
“I’m really grateful to have had all of the right people at the right place at the right time. We all worked together really well to make everything go quickly and smoothly. It was surprisingly calm; there wasn’t any panic from anyone who was at the scene,” Jasmine said. “We all felt grateful to have been a part of this really beautiful thing.”
Important lessons for all
This story is a compelling reminder of why it’s so important for everyone—not just nurses or first responders—to learn CPR.
It’s also clearly demonstrates the need for AEDs in all establishments. Jasmine noted, “As a cardiac nurse, I’m so very aware of the importance of getting electricity to heart when there’s a dangerous rhythm. It’s ingrained in us. This experience allowed me to see firsthand how a heart responded to that first shock.”
Kaylee Lovelady, co-owner of CrossFit iluvit, reported that the gym had, ironically, been denied a small business grant for an AED but went ahead and purchased one anyway. “I would encourage all small business owners to do the same. You never know when you may need it,” she said.