Through quick thinking and an instinct to act, military and civilian members of the Naval Station Great Lakes community came together to aid one of their own and saved a life the morning of Sept. 21 inside the Bldg. 2A gym.
Region Legal Service Office (RLSO) Midwest Executive Officer Cmdr. Sarah Stancanti was on a treadmill early that morning when she suddenly collapsed after suffering a heart attack. Army Staff Sgt. Jordan Siddhidhatashakti was the first one who saw Stancanti collapse and quickly rushed to help her.
“I thought she was having a seizure, because she just froze then fell,” said Siddhidhatashakti. “I ran to her and started observing the situation. Her face was purple and she was getting really cold. I was thinking she should be at least lukewarm.”
Siddhidhatashakti quickly called to MWR Great Lakes employee John Anderson for help. Emergency services were called, and Anderson rushed over to Stancanti. He quickly noticed that Stancanti was in need of serious help.
“I told Mr. John Anderson, who is an instructor at the gym,” said Siddhidhatashakti “He said ‘hey, we need to start CPR on her.’ That’s when John and I agreed to move her body off of the treadmill. I started the CPR by myself. I think John realized I was getting so tired, so he said ‘I’ll pump her chest and you just apply air.’ So we continued CPR until the first responders showed up.”
Shortly after, first responders from the Great Lakes Fire Department arrived on the scene and performed emergency procedures on Stancanti. Stancanti was still unresponsive at this point, but the early CPR gave her more time.
“Early defibrillation, early CPR … all those things are key to keeping a person alive,” said firefighter Troy Laws, one of the first responders to arrive. “So all of those things were working in her favor. By the time she was transported to the back of the ambulance, she started showing signs of coming back. By the time she got to the VA (Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center), she wasn’t fully recovered but she had a steady rhythm.”
Stancanti stayed in the hospital for a few days, shortly making a full recovery after the incident, and returned to work at RLSO. Had it not been for the quick actions of Siddhidhatashakti, Anderson, and the first responders, Stancanti might not be alive.
“The staff at the gym acted right away,” said Laws. “They did what they were supposed to do. It’s kind of that whole chain of survival that really made the difference with her. We like it when there is a good outcome, because it drives you to continue on, and to strive for that next one.”