Ryan WalkerIt's not uncommon for a nurse to save a life while working in the hospital, but what is not common is saving a life in a parking lot.

That is exactly what happened last Saturday night when Ryan Walker, RN, Telemetry Unit, Centerpoint Medical Center, was at Kauffman Stadium with friends. While Ryan and his friends were tailgating in the parking lot, a man collapsed nearby. Ryan went to check on him and found that he had no pulse. He started CPR while one of his friends notified Royals’ security staff and someone else called 911. When the security team arrived with the AED, Ryan applied the patches, noted that the man had a lethal and shockable arrhythmia (and the AED was also advising a shock) and then administered the shock and resumed CPR until the EMTs arrived. At that time the man had both a pulse and a decent rhythm. The EMTs took over and took the man to an area hospital and Ryan and his friends went inside the ballpark to see the game. But that isn’t the end of the story.

The man that collapsed at the stadium was taken to Centerpoint and Ryan was able to meet with him a few days later while working his shift. Thomas Hinds from Virginia Beach, VA was in town visiting friends when he collapsed at the stadium. Hinds doesn’t remember anything that happened at the stadium, but is grateful for Ryan’s quick action and the care he subsequently received at Centerpoint.

Even though he is sore from the CPR, he “considers the alternative”. “I got real lucky with Ryan being there,” he says. “I’ve been in a lot of hospitals and Centerpoint is about as good as it gets. When I get home, I’m going to tell my wife that the next time she has to call the paramedics, they had better have a map to Independence with them.”

Ryan is a second generation HCA employee. His mom, Carolyn, is a nurse in the Cardio-Pulmonary- Telemetry Unit at Research Medical Center. “I always heard from my friends that are EMTs that you never get to meet someone you saved like this. For him to be taken here and for me to meet him, it was a one in a million thing,” says Ryan. Ryan joined the Centerpoint team in November 2011. His decision to become a nurse didn’t happen overnight.

“My mom did suggest it. I was actually in school as a business major, but didn’t like it and was planning to become an EMT. My mom said it’s better to be a nurse, so I decided to do it and she was right. I do like being a nurse,” Ryan adds.