VERSAILLES — Versailles Area Rescue honored seven individuals who were responsible for saving a man’s life at the Versailles Y on Feb. 6 this year. This recognition was done Wednesday night during the village council meeting.
Better yet, the man whose life was saved — Doug Bruns — was able to be in attendance.
Versailles Rescue Chief Matt Harvey passed out certificates to Elliot, Ethan and Josh Bruns, Doug’s sons; as well as Y employees Carolyn Combs, Abby Niekamp, Jared Niekamp and Lydia Sink. Unable to attend of that group Wednesday evening were Ethan Bruns and Jared Niekamp, who had other commitments.
“On Feb. 6, we were called to the Y for a cardiac arrest male patient,” said Harvey. “When we arrived on the scene, he was conscious, confused, awake and alert. These seven people started CPR and brought him back to life by the time we arrived. Now, we are honoring those who responded.”
“I thank everyone,” said 56-year-old Bruns. “If it wouldn’t have been for them I wouldn’t be standing here. When I came to, I remember seeing Ed Ruhe [who was with the life squad when it arrived].”
Ruhe, who came to the recognition, responded, “If it weren’t for these people, we wouldn’t have done any good.”
“I thank everyone who helped Doug out that night,” remarked Bruns’ wife Jacqueline. “The team work was amazing…from the Y to EMS and to CareFlight. They did everything absolutely right.”
It was reported that son Elliott called for help after his father collapsed and Josh Bruns, the oldest son, started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Doug was playing basketball that fateful night with men in their 20s and 30s.
“I remember being light-headed and falling down,” said Doug. “I guess I was dead for three to five minutes. I remember the 10-minute ride to Good Sam. I had no pain, only where they did CPR with the chest compressions. And, they shocked me once.”
He spent 2 1/2 days in the hospital and was back to work a week after his last doctor’s appointment this past Monday at Plygem Siding.
The 1980 Versailles High School graduate said he is restricted to foods with lesser sodium and salt, but other than that he’s fine.
Family members attending to witness the recognition, in addition to his wife, were his mother, Alma Bruns; and Josh, Becky, and Elliot Bruns and Erica and Ryan Dues.
Alma said she was getting ready to go to church at St. Boniface that night in Piqua, when she got word of her son’s health’s issue.
“I went to the Y and I touched his cheek after they loaded him up and asked him if he knew me and he said, ‘Mom,’ and I knew he was going to be all right,” she said. “He is the oldest boy of my four children. He has six children himself.”
“Pretty much all of our family was at the gym that night,” Jacqueline said.
Doug, who is also the son of the late Leroy Bruns who died seven years ago, had one more thing to say. “I’m pretty lucky.”
And, so are those who know him.
This writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.
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