On June 10, 2023, the Tampa Bay Rays baseball game against the Texas Rangers became more than just a game. A heroic fan, Janie Morales, helped to save the life of a fellow fan who went into cardiac arrest at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Morales and her boyfriend Ken Frey were enjoying the game when they noticed a man in distress a few rows away. Morales, who is an ultrasound technician with CPR training, raced to his side, jumping over the seats to get to him.
She checked for a pulse, and not finding one, enlisted the help of a fan sitting next to him to get him on the ground where they could start CPR. She immediately started chest compressions, and after the third set, the man finally took a breath. That’s when the paramedics arrived and asked Morales to put the defibrillator pads on his chest, then they shocked him.
Paramedics later told the couple the man was conscious in the ambulance breathing on his own and talking once he got to the hospital. It was a major sigh of relief for Morales and Frey. Paramedics also credited Morales for getting the man's blood flowing using CPR.
Without a doubt, the skills Morales learned in the American Red Cross Training Services course gave her the confidence to act. She encourages anyone who isn’t in the medical field to still get CPR training because it could save a life.
For her actions, Morales, who lives in Hernando County, was featured on a number of *TV news stories, and was honored at a subsequent Tampa Bay Rays game. On Monday, October 24, Red Cross volunteer engagement specialist Laura Patrick and Mid-FL Chapter Board Member Sharon Christian presented her with a national award, the American Red Cross Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action, during a Hernando County Commission meeting.
If you or someone you know has used any lifesaving skill taught by the American Red Cross to help save or sustain the life of another individual, visit lifesavingawards.org to nominate the lifesaver for one of our national awards.
*Click to watch local TV news stories on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and Spectrum.
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