Ex-army medic helps save fan at Senators game

Melissa Noel and her father, Jacques, performed CPR and revived a man who was having a heart attack...

Melissa Noel and her father, Jacques, performed CPR and revived a man who was having a heart attack at Scotiabank Place just prior to the Senators game on Thursday. (ERROL McGIHON/QMI Agency)

DOUG HEMPSTEAD, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:51 PM ET

OTTAWA - It’s a good thing the Sens Army has a medic from the real army as one of its enlisted members.

Melissa Noel bought her dad Jacques tickets to a Sens game for Christmas.

The 63-year-old former army medic and his 31-year-old daughter were aiming to get to the Sabres game on Tuesday — with 300-level tickets bought through Groupon.

Fortunately, they ended up with ones for Thursday’s game hosting the Panthers — fortunately for the 71-year-old man who collapsed just inside the doorway at the entrance of Scotiabank Place.

The Noels were just at the bottom of one of the two main staircases when they saw him fall.

Nobody in the crowd stopped to help him, except a police officer who seemed tired-out after beginning chest compressions.

Melissa stepped in to help, taking turns with her father — she doing mouth-to-mouth as well with the big stranger who was rapidly turning blue, his eyes rolling back in his head.

“I was shocked nobody stopped to help,” Melissa said.

“People are either uncomfortable or just figure somebody else in the crowd will do it. They should just do something rather than nothing. They didn’t stop, didn’t bother. It worries me — what if it was my mother or father?”

Soon paramedics arrived and took over — providing CPR while and aggressive resuscitation procedures. They intubated the man and provided shocks from a defibrillator as well as a range of intravenous cardiac medications. An off-duty firefighter also jumped in to help.

Paramedics intend to recognize the Noels, whom they referred to as “skilled bystanders” and said thanks to the efforts of all involved, the man regained a pulse, but was in critical condition Friday in the ICU at Queensway-Carleton Hospital.

Melissa said the man regained and lost consciousness twice during her efforts.

“We kept losing him,” she said. “He was very, very blue. At least we gave him that extra chance.”

After the man was taken away by paramedics, Melissa and Jacques headed up to their seats — only to find them occupied by a pair of season ticket holders.

It turns out Melissa’s online purchase was a dud.

Staff at Scotiabank Place, familiar with the Noel’s heroics, managed to find them a pair of seats in the 100s, where they — admittedly distracted — enjoyed the Sens win.

“I was a little hard to focus,” she said.

doug.hempstead@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @DougHempstead


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