Coworkers Revive Colleague With AED At South Jordan Company

Oct 17, 2019, 8:58 PM | Updated: 9:05 pm

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — Three Utahns were recognized for helping save their coworker’s life with an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, after he suffered a heart attack at work.

“It was just a normal day, everybody said I was my normal self,” said Jack Rakes, who lives in South Jordan. Rakes felt fine when he went to work early one morning. “There was no warning.” But he wasn’t fine. “I was just gone in an instant,” he said.

Rakes collapsed and three coworkers at Merit Medical rushed to help.

“I heard this sound that you just don’t normally hear and it had been his head hitting the back of the table,” said Taylorsville resident Teresa Salazar.

Someone sounded an emergency alarm and Andrew Williamson, of Grantsville, said, “It went, ‘Code blue, we need to get going. Let’s go! Let’s go!’”

“He was gray, he was going gray,” said West Valley City resident Debra Pressley.

Pressley grabbed the onsite AED. It’s a portable electronic device that can restart the heart through electric shock.

“I had never been trained on an AED prior,” Salazar said.

AEDs can revive someone during a sudden cardiac arrest, and they are showing up everywhere. You might have seen one hanging on the wall at work, at the mall or the airport. It was vitally important to Rakes and the people who saved him.

“It prompts you to do all the steps, to apply the pads. It will tell you that it’s analyzing the heart rhythm,” said Merit Medical Cheif Wellness Officer Dr. Nicole Priest. “It will say, ‘Shock advised.’”

AEDs might look intimidating, but experts said they’re easy to use if you follow the automated commands.

Laura Western with the American Heart Association said, “The first thing you’ll do is take the pads out and you would apply them directly onto the patient. One goes over the heart and one goes over on the other side.”

Salazar and her colleagues followed the instructions that day and saved Jack’s life.

“I just looked at the pictures on the pads,” she said.

“I’m a very lucky guy,” Rakes said.

Salazar said she learned how to act quickly from someone special: her grandmother, Fran Salazar, who helped raise her.

“I have had to help her through some hard times,” Teresa Salazar said. “I didn’t have the best childhood growing up. Alcohol and drugs were a problem. Whenever I’d spend the night, she’d always scratch my back and do, ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider.’”

Teresa Salazar said she visits her grandmother every day, and those visits helped prepare Teresa for the moment when seconds mattered. “I kind of have a little more confidence just walking around on a normal day because I just helped save a life,” she said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Your Life Your Health

Lamont Dorrity...
Ayanna Likens

How exercise helps with Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson's disease is affecting more and more people across the nation. While there is no cure, one thing is showing promise in improving symptoms.
5 days ago
Jason Peck with his sons...
Ayanna Likens

How an outpatient program helped Salt Lake man overcome substance abuse

A Salt Lake man is sharing his story of overcoming opioid use and how Intermountain Health's outpatient program helped him.
12 days ago
Doctors are seeing a higher number of adults under 55 diagnosed with colon cancer. (Jeffrey Gray)...
Ayanna Likens

45 is the new 50 when it comes to colon cancer screenings

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and 45 is the new 50 when it comes to colon cancer screenings.
19 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Ayanna Likens

Why helmet safety is important when playing in the snow

All of the recent snowfall in Utah has created every kid's winter wonderland, but if you plan to hit the sledding hill, there are a few things to keep in mind. 
26 days ago
Linda LeCheminant...
Ayanna Likens

Why it’s important to recognize your risk for heart disease 

February is National Heart Month and heart disease is the number one killer in the United States for both men and women. But there are some ways that you can change your lifestyle to help prevent it.
1 month ago
Ross heart procedure...
Ayanna Likens

Complex heart surgery at Primary Children’s is saving lives

February is Heart Health Month, and a young Idaho boy is thriving because of a heart procedure gaining traction at Intermountain's Primary Children's Hospital. 
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...
PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
Coworkers Revive Colleague With AED At South Jordan Company