Joliet honors three lifesavers
By Bob Okon firstname.lastname@example.org February 5, 2013 11:08PM
Joel Mauzer (front from left), Nancy Lucaora and Janet Ghilain were honored by the Joliet City Council for coming to the aid of Aaron Booker (front right) when Booker was stricken at a local fitness center. Members of the Joliet City Council (back row) lo
Updated: March 8, 2013 7:27AM
Aaron Booker was looking pretty good for a man who was saved from a heart attack two weeks ago.
Booker received immediate medical attention when he collapsed in a workout room where a paramedic and two nurses happened to be nearby, an incident reported in The Herald-News.
His three rescuers were recognized Tuesday at a Joliet City Council meeting when a proclamation was read in their honor and each received the fire department’s Lifesaver Award. Booker was there, too, which was the highlight of the evening for the three heroes.
“The best thing about all of this is getting to see Aaron here tonight and getting to meet him,” nurse Janet Ghilain said.
Joliet firefighter-paramedic Joel Mauzer noted that a paramedic’s rescue attempt does not always turn out so well and said he was “just grateful that we were able to help him. We were in the right place at the right time.”
“He looks great,” nurse Nancy Lucaora said.
Maybe Booker’s quick rebound is due to his workout regimen, even at age 70. He said he was on number 25 of his usual 40 sit-ups when he had the heart attack at the Inwood Athletic Club on Jan. 21.
“I remember the last exercise I was doing,” he said.
Booker plans to keep working out but said he will have to eat healthier.
Oddly enough, he had a heart attack and passed out once before and happened to be at a doctor’s office. He’s also had triple-bypass heart surgery.
Booker said he was glad for the ceremony at the council meeting because he had been trying to look up his rescuers to thank them.
“I appreciate what they did,” he said.
His good fortune was detailed by Councilman John Gerl, who read the proclamation to honor Ghilain, Lucaora and Mauzer. Gerl also was working out nearby at the time and witnessed the rescue.
“It was definitely a dire situation,” he said.
Booker had no pulse and was not breathing, Gerl said, when “Janet, Nancy and Joel without hesitation went over ... and started doing CPR.”
An off-duty lifeguard at the fitness center also pitched in by bringing over an automated external defibrillator that aided in the rescue effort. Booker had recovered and regained consciousness even before he was taken out of the club.
His son, Mark Booker, who also attended the ceremony at City Hall, expressed appreciation for the rescue, saying the family is “very grateful for the three people who helped him out.”
As to how his father is doing, Aaron said simply, “I feel pretty good.”