A 52-year-old Blacksburg woman who performed CPR after a runner had a heart attack on the Roanoke River Greenway said the event is “a blur” to her days later.
An occupational therapist who often works for Carilion-owned practices near Blacksburg, Lisa Broyden said she was waiting Saturday for her daughter to finish tests at North Cross School when she saw a group of people standing near Joseph Salmon.
Broyden had recently completed a work-required CPR course at Carilion Giles Community Hospital. When she first noticed Salmon, she thought he was a CPR dummy.
“It was a thin athletic-looking person on the ground. In the course, the dummies are actually dressed in gray pants and a blue warm-up jacket,” Broyden said. “There was a bunch of people looking worried, and I thought, ‘Holy cow. This is not a drill.’ ”
After EMS workers took Salmon to the hospital, Broyden said she reached out to a Roanoke friend who runs, hoping to find out more about Salmon’s condition.
“The whole thing is a blur,” she said. “I was worried. What if he didn’t make it or I broke something? I figured my runner friend would know whether there was any chatter on Facebook.”
Broyden was able to speak to Salmon on Wednesday morning, she said. His family members also hope to find the three people who helped call medical services and checked Salmon’s pulse during the emergency.
Though Broyden takes the CPR course every two years for her job, she said she never expected to be able to use the information.
“I’m usually in a hospital, so I always assumed there would be real doctors or people who know what they’re doing,” she said.
Broyden credits the course’s realistic CPR dummies for enabling her to assist Salmon. The course uses dummies with built-in sensors that help trainees learn how hard and fast to press a person’s chest.
“I could feel a thump and it felt too fast and too hard, but it feels too fast and too hard on the dummies, too,” she said.
Salmon, an instructional coach with Hurt Park Elementary, is a marathon enthusiast who was 15 miles into a solo run when he collapsed near the Franklin Road bridge.
Carilion spokesman Chris Turnbull said Salmon was in fair condition Wednesday afternoon. He initially had been in intensive care after he underwent a procedure that cooled his body by several degrees to prevent damage from the heart attack.