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Officer’s quick response saves Addison man
Photo caption: Addison resident Ed Sullivan, right, thanks Addison police officer Maria Reyes in the intensive care unit at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital for helping save his life Aug. 5.

Glendale Heights – As she walked into the Intensive Care Unit room at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital the afternoon of Aug. 6, Addison Police Officer Maria Reyes smiled at the man whose life she had saved the day before.

The man, Ed Sullivan of Addison, smiled back and thanked her for all she had done.

“I come from a long line of Boston cops,” he said. “I just can’t thank you enough.”

Ed Sullivan was driving to a meeting at his church Monday, Aug. 5, behind the wheel of his truck when he had a heart attack. The last moment he remembers in the truck was taking a right turn onto Lake Street and commenting about the price of gas. He remembers nothing of what happened next, until waking in the Adventist GlenOaks emergency department.

But his wife Nancy, a passenger with him, remembers everything. She noticed their truck was veering to the left shortly after her husband made the turn. She looked over at him, and he appeared to be both snoring and having a seizure.

“All of the sudden, I realized he was struggling to breathe,” she said.

Thinking quickly, Nancy Sullivan down shifted the truck, got it pulled over and put it into park. At the side of the road, people stopped, some helping Ed from his truck, others calling 911. Nancy Sullivan began applying CPR.

Reyes was nearby, at Lake Street and Addison, when she received the emergency call about the Sullivans. In just minutes, she arrived at the scene and immediately realized Ed Sullivan was having a heart attack. He was on the ground and his skin was deathly pale, she said.

She grabbed the automated external defibrillator from her car. She ran over to Sullivan and began performing CPR compressions, drafting Nancy Sullivan to help prepare the AED. Putting the AED pads in place, the machine analyzed Ed Sullivan’s heartbeat. Reyes used the machine to shock him.

“I could see the red coming back into his face,” Reyes said. “Then I knew he was going to be OK.”

Ambulance crews took over shortly thereafter. Adventist GlenOaks Hospital Arrhythmia Coordinator Sara Humes said that by the time Ed Sullivan arrived, he was resuscitated and chatting up the emergency room staff.

“The American Heart Association has shown time and again that early defibrillation is the key to survival,” Humes said. “He was very fortunate.”

Within just about an hour, hospital staff performed angioplasty on Sullivan and put a stent in place at the hospital’s recently upgraded Cath Lab. On Tuesday, the Sullivans were in the ICU recovering and met with Reyes.

Adventist GlenOaks Hospital Chief Executive Officer Bruce C. Christian thanked Reyes for the job she did in saving Ed Sullivan.

“We are fortunate to have protectors such as her safeguarding the lives of our community members,” Christian said. “We are privileged to consider her a friend of Adventist GlenOaks Hospital.”

Holding his hand, Reyes told Ed Sullivan that everyone had been praying for him all night.

“I’m praying for you now,” he said. “This means everything to me and my wife.”

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Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.

Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.

Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, christopher.lafortune@ahss.org; (630) 856-2354.