He went into cardiac arrest while swimming. These emergency responders saved him

“I had a heart attack, and everything was turning black.”
Published: May. 15, 2022 at 6:02 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu Emergency Medical Services kicks of National EMS Week with a special reunion, a patient they helped save early this year.

It’s been four months since Ocean Safety Lieutenant, Norm Skorge at The Oahu Club when went into cardiac arrest.

Skorge said he wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the quick response from good Samaritans and first responders.

On the evening of January 11, Skorge was doing laps in the second lane of the swimming pool when he suddenly began feeling un-well.

“I had a heart attack, and everything was turning black,” Skorge recalled. “And I’m tilting, reaching for the wall to get out and that’s the last thing I remember.”

Oahu Club Member Joe Lileikes was teaching a swim class when he heard a cry for help.

He pulled the lifeless 200-pound Skorge out of the pool.

“So, I’m calling out rotations at the same time, during chest compressions in this surreal experience,” Lileikes recalled. “I see Norm’s head hitting the cement with every compression, so I called out for a kickboard to stabilize [his head] for the chest compressions.”

Skorge’s wife, Joy Skorge ran from the other side of the pool to be at her husband’s side.

She said Lileikes advised her to speak to Norm while he and other bystanders were taking turns conducting CPR.

“I was just telling him it’s not his time all of his friends are here, people are helping him,” said Joy Skorge. “They’re all doing their job, and he has a job too and that is he can’t leave.”

“I think without them pulling him out of the pool and initiating rescue efforts, I don’t think Norm would be here today,” said Honolulu EMS Paramedic Mitch Kam.

First responders arrived at the scene within three minutes after the call.

“We shocked Norm once and he started to respond to us,” said Kam. “By the time we got him to the truck, he was talking.”

Four months later, Skorge reunited with his heroes from EMS.

Kam and EMT Tina Craveiro who was unable to attend.

“Not too often we get to see people that survive going into cardiac arrest and coming out of it without any kind of neurological deficits,” said Kam.

“I really am extremely, extremely lucky and it is because of these heroes,” said Norm Skorge. “Both the bystanders and the professionals.”

Kam a veteran paramedic was honored as EMS Week Hero.

Lileikes was also recognized for taking initiative and conducting CPR.

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