‘Mighty Docs’ Save Fellow Puckster After His Collapse

It was shaping up to be just another hockey game for Mayo Clinic Health System physicians Donn Dexter and Patrick Roberts … until one of their “Mighty Docs” teammates suffered a heart attack.

It was shaping up to be just another hockey game for two Mayo Clinic Health System physicians … until one of their "Mighty Docs" teammates suffered a heart attack.

Like other sports, hockey can be pretty physically demanding, what with all the skating, checking, passing and power playing. One play that's usually not part of a hockey game, however, is the heart attack. That changed for one hockey team last month. And when it did, the "Mighty Docs" lived up to their name.

The second period had just ended when, while "taking a break on the bench," the "unthinkable happened." One Mighty Docs player "had a heart attack and collapsed," WEAU 13 News in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, reports.

Fortunately, the team's name is a reflection of the makeup of part of its roster. As WEAU 13 reports, the Mighty Docs were formed by a "group of doctors from Mayo Clinic Health System." So when one of the players collapsed, help was not far away. "We had two very skilled doctors that were there right on the spot," Ryan Flaig, a non-doctoral member of the Mighty Docs, tells WEAU 13.

Those skilled doctors would be Donn Dexter, M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, and Patrick Roberts, D.P.M., chair of the Division of Podiatry. Both rushed over and started CPR. They also used an AED on their fallen teammate. "It was a real team effort," Dr. Dexter tells the station.

By the time the paramedics arrived, the patient's condition had greatly improved, Dr. Roberts tells WEAU 13. As the paramedics wheeled their teammate out, "he was able to put a thumb up in the air, and it turned it from a little bit of panic and somberness to sort of a joyous celebration that he'd made it," he says. Though the patient-slash-teammate elected not to be named, WEAU 13 reported that "Mayo Clinic Health System says he is currently in stable condition."

Dr. Roberts and Dr. Dexter say the whole experience is a good reminder of the importance of CPR and AED training. And that you don't need to be a "Mighty Doc" to save someone's life. "Non-medical people can easily take a class and learn those skills," Dr. Dexter tells WEAU 13. "I think it can make a real difference in outcomes for people who have these types of events." That's a message both doctors hope gets out as a result of this story.

You can read more about the Mighty Docs here. Then shoot us your comments below. You can use the tools atop this page to share this story with others.