Craig Bryant, MD, a physician at Atrium Health Pineville saved Jib Street's life when he suddenly experienced sudden cardiac arrest on the ice rink

News | 5 years ago

Doctor Saves Man's Life During Pickup Hockey Game

Life often comes at your fast, but in the blink of an eye it almost ended for Jib Street when he went into sudden cardiac arrest in the middle of a pickup hockey game. But thanks to the quick thinking of fellow hockey player Craig Bryant, MD, Street is alive and eager to get back on the rink.


What started as a pickup game of ice hockey, soon turned into a near-death experience when longtime hockey player, Jib Street, suddenly fell to the ground, unresponsive as he went into sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) on the rink at Pineville Ice House in January.

But as luck would have it, Craig Bryant, MD, who happened to be playing in the same pickup game, recognized the seriousness of the situation and was able to rush to Street’s side to help. As a physician at Atrium Health Pineville’s emergency department, Dr. Bryant understood he only had a few minutes to react and try to save Street’s life.

After checking Street’s vitals and not finding a pulse, Dr. Bryant instructed a group of bystander players to call 911 and to bring him the rink’s automated external defibrillator (AED) while he began CPR.

Within minutes, Dr. Bryant was able to attach the electrodes from the AED to Street’s chest. The device soon detected a heart arrhythmia and quickly instructed Dr. Bryant to administer a shock current. “Time was very vital, but the stars were aligned that day,” says Dr. Bryant.

After nearly six minutes without a pulse and continued CPR, Street was able to regain consciousness and slowly open his eyes.

“I’m just so grateful that I was in Dr. Bryant’s presence during all of this,” says Street.

Time is Brain

If you’re wondering what an AED is – and why they’re so important – you’re not alone. It’s an easy-to-use, lifesaving device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm, and deliver an electronic shock, or defibrillation, to help someone experiencing cardiac arrest re-establish an effective rhythm. And for someone who experiences SCA, it becomes critical that a person uses an AED and administers CPR within minutes – if not seconds – to save that person’s life.

“Mr. Street is very lucky in that he has 100 percent of his neurological function back,” says Dr. Bryant. “One of the major organs affected by cardiac arrest is the brain, but today – he’s as good as he was before he ever went down.”

Another reason that Street is alive today is also due in part to the assistance of a cath lab specialist from Atrium Health who urged the rink to install an AED device. Thanks to this recommendation, Pineville Ice House was well equipped with the right tools and training to help save someone’s life in an event like this. All of Pineville Ice House’s staff were educated on how to use the rink’s new AED device and how to effectively administer CPR.

A Hopeful Future

Today, Street is as healthy as ever with his new defibrillator pacemaker that was surgically implanted into his chest by the Sanger Heart & Vascular team at Atrium Health Pineville to help to control future abnormal heart rhythms.

“If there’s something I can bring back from this experience, it’s don’t give up on a person going through cardiac arrest,” says Street who now stresses the importance of AED and CPR education.

Eager to get back on the rink once he’s cleared to play hockey again, Street hopes to have Dr. Bryant right beside him for another game. The two developed a new friendship that neither will take for granted.

A healthy heart lets you stay focused on doing what you love. Learn how Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute can help you keep your heart healthy.