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Nurse honored for efforts to revive softball player after cardiac arrest

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A Seymour nurse will be honored Sept. 11 at the Columbus Parks and Recreation Board for her efforts in reviving a softball player in July.

Steve Taylor, of Columbus, was playing in the Independent Softball Association softball tournament July 25. He had just started his second game of the day when he started to feel dizzy.

A few minutes later, a ball was hit to Taylor’s side of the field. He went chasing after the ball and fell to his hands and knees.

“Something didn’t feel right. I went after that ball and I went down,” he said. “That’s about the last thing I can remember. I just passed out.”

In the stands, Columbus native Sonja Moscrip, a nurse at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, saw Taylor struggling on the field.

Moscrip was at the softball tournament watching her father Gary Herbert play in the tournament — Herbert and Taylor are teammates.

Her instincts and medical training kicked in and within seconds, Moscrip was performing CPR on Taylor.

She was joined by the softball association site director Melissa Maiel who brought an automated external defibrillator (AED) owned by the Columbus Parks and Recreation department to the scene. An AED is a portable electronic device that diagnoses irregular heart rhythms and when used, establishes the correct rhythm.

“I didn’t know if he got hit with a ball. I didn’t really know what had happened,” Moscrip said. “I was checking his pulse and then he went into cardiac arrest.

“We hooked the AED up, analyzed him, it was a shockable rhythm and so we shocked him once,” she said. “I started CPR again and he came to. He didn’t know what was going on. I had explained to him that his heart had stopped and we had restarted it.”

Shortly after Moscrip spoke to Taylor, he went into cardiac arrest again.

Moscrip said she administered another shock to Taylor before he regained consciousness again.

For Moscrip, she was just doing what she had been trained to do and had done a number of times on the job.

But having to perform CPR and use the AED on her day off and outside of a medical facility became an emotional experience, she said.

“When I left the ball field, I was overwhelmed with emotions because everyone was watching me. I had goosebumps. I wanted to cry. I wanted to get sick,” she said. “I was thinking of all the things that could have gone wrong.

“The fact that it turned out the way it did wasn’t my doing. It was God’s doing.

It was the AED,” she said.

“It was a lot of different factors and I was just blessed to be a part of giving him a second opportunity.”

Taylor was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital and was released the next day.

Doctors told Taylor that scarring from a heart attack he suffered in 2005 could have caused “ventricular fibrillation” in which the heart pumps at a severely abnormal rate, causing his heart to eventually stop.

He has since had a defibrillator, commonly known as a pacemaker, installed and has been told by doctors to take it easy for about six weeks.

He said he plans to get back out to a baseball diamond, something he’s done since he was 18 years old, as soon as possible.

“I’m not going to eliminate softball, but at least cut it down to where maybe I’ll just play in a league,” he said. “Right now, I’m playing 80 to 90 games a softball a year. I’ll just play in a local league and not travel anymore.”

Taylor’s team, the Indiana Legends, went on to win the tournament and came over to “mildly” celebrate with Taylor the Sunday after the ordeal, he said.

Since the July softball tournament, Columbus Parks and Recreation officials purchased a new AED to make sure all parks facilities are prepared for similar situations.

Columbus Parks aquatic manager Jim Lemke said there are eight AEDs at park facilities including The Commons, Donner Park, the Hamilton Center Ice Arena, the Foundation for Youth and the Park Operations building.

The parks department uses one of the AEDs from Donner Park at multiple events, such as the softball tournament where Taylor was playing, Lemke said.

Taylor and Moscrip plan to stay in touch now that their paths crossed in an incident that changed both of their lives.

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