Acts of Kindness
Softball player collapses then nail-biting moment as woman rushes to break through the crowd
She was determined to make it, and there wasn't a second to lose.
D.G. Sciortino
09.29.22

Darren Ewell was playing shortstop at the top of the fourth inning. Then he woke up in the hospital.

He doesn’t remember nurse Danya Topham saving his life after he collapsed from a heart attack.

Inside Edition - YouTube
Source:
Inside Edition - YouTube

“I keep on running this back in my mind: ‘Why me?’” Ewell told NJSNA Nurses Weekly. “‘Why am I fortunate to be here where most people don’t?’ And I don’t know the answer to that. I don’t know exactly why I survived this and why it happened when it did.”

Topham, a registered nurse with Intermountain Healthcare, was sitting in the bleachers when she heard someone yell out “Call 911!” That’s when she saw Ewell lying on the ground.

Topham, who just finished a shift and was still in her scrubs, ran out onto the field to administer CPR to Ewell.

“Completely different situation out there in real life,” she told told FOX 59. “You take a lot of comfort at work, knowing that you can just hit a button and everybody’s going to rush in and help you. The difference was I didn’t have that.”

Inside Edition - YouTube
Source:
Inside Edition - YouTube

Topham wasn’t sure if Ewell was going to make it.

“He didn’t have a pulse,” she said. “I started CPR and asked some of his teammates to back me up when I got tired.”

Eventually, emergency responders arrived and took over. They shocked Ewell four times with the defibrillator.

Inside Edition - YouTube
Source:
Inside Edition - YouTube

“I kept telling him to live,” Topham told KSL TV. “But then, I heard one of the paramedics say, ‘Sir, your heart is not working. We are going to take you to the hospital.’ And I thought, ‘Holy crap, he woke up!’ I was in shock and so excited.”

Inside Edition - YouTube
Source:
Inside Edition - YouTube

Ewell was rushed to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Ohio where he had four stents put in.

“If she hadn’t taken immediate and aggressive action to do CPR, which broke my ribs, the doctor said there would be no way I would have survived this heart attack,” Ewell said. “I just feel like there was miracle after miracle — the fact that a nurse was watching my game and that I was so close to the hospital. I am so thankful.”

Ewell said he felt completely fine that day, though his family has a history of heart attacks.

Cardiac arrest can occur suddenly without warning.

It is triggered when the heart experiences an electrical malfunction that causes it to beat irregularly.

“My father, grandfather, great grandfather all died of heart attacks,” he said “But I’m 57; they were in their 60s.”

Topham, police, and the fire officials who helped save Ewell’s life that night were all given Life Saving Awards by the Murray City Council.

Topham and Fire Chief Joseph Mittleman said that they hope this story will inspire more people to go out and learn CPR.

“People really just need to learn how to do CPR,” said Topham. “Just do it, and you can save a life. I did.”

Watch Ewell’s amazing rescue in the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By D.G. Sciortino
[email protected]
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at [email protected]
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