YMCA lifeguard Heather Zuniga honored for saving a life
MEYERS LAKE As Don Joliat enters the YMCA Meyers Lake branch, lifeguard Heather Zuniga hugs him.Nearly a month ago, Zuniga pulled Joliat out of the YMCA swimming pool while he was undergoing cardiac arrest.The lifeguard was on duty early morning of Dec. 22 when she noticed the 81-year-old man under some sort of physical stress while in the shallow end. She entered the pool to rescue him.”He had stopped swimming,” Zuniga recalled. “He did not call for help or anything like that.”In recognition of her actions, Canton Township officials presented Zuniga with two award plaques and a certificate during a ceremony Tuesday at the YMCA Meyers Lake branch. Canton Township Fire Department provides emergency medical service in the village of Meyers Lake.”We wanted to recognize her for her actions that day,” said township Fire Chief Chris Smith. “She basically allowed him to survive his cardiac arrest. She pretty much had everything in place by the time we got here.”The rescue occurred early in the morning before much of the Meyers Lake YMCA staff arrived for work.”She did textbook stuff across the board,” said Jeff Mann, executive director of the Meyers Lake YMCA branch. “She did a tremendous job. Safety is always one of our biggest concerns.”After cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Joliat was taken to nearby Mercy Medical Center, where emergency quadruple bypass surgery was administered. Zuniga also used an automated external defibrillator to help stabilize Joliat until an ambulance arrived. READ MORE……..