Nurse reminisces on the night she sprang into action to save a woman in cardiac arrest

In an otherwise normal evening last November, Rapid City women Katie Young and Amanda Gunter would cross paths in a life-threatening situation that brought them together as friends.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Katie Young had graduated from college that morning in November when she decided to celebrate with her boyfriend and friends at a bowling alley. She remembers not feeling very well that evening, but it was nothing alarming.

Amanda & Katie

Amanda & Katie

Katie says, “ I went to throw my first ball and it was just so heavy. I was going to ask the guys that I was with to help me find a new ball, but I never got that chance.”

Unknown to her and her party she was with, Katie – a healthy 28-year-old woman – had suffered cardiac arrest.

Amanda Gunter, a registered nurse with Monument Health Rapid City, was bowling that night with her family. She saw the commotion and sprang into action.

Amanda says, “My head jerked to see what was going on; Katie was laying on the ground. I was like, ‘let me in here, let me see what is going on.’ I pulled her close to me, I assessed what was happening, and I could see she was deteriorating fast because her skin was pale and blue and she did not have a pulse…and it just clicked to my nursing role and I just went into full blown nurse-mode. I pulled her over and was like, ‘we need to start doing compressions’ and I started doing compressions and I told my husband, I told whoever was there to grab an AED and call 911.”

Amanda & Katie

After rounds of CPR – EMS arrived and took over. Katie began to respond. She remained in the hospital for days, as medical staff tried to figure out what happened.

It was a perfect storm that caused the attack, including starting a new medication and being dehydrated that set off her underlying heart condition, called Long QT syndrome.

Amanda says immediate action helps save lives and that an AED would have been beneficial to have.

Amanda & Katie

Neither of the women initially setting out to bowl that night but are thankful they did, because the outcome would not have been the same for Katie.

Amanda says, “The universe knew what it was doing and yeah, it was just meant to be, the way things happened that way they did.”

Katie is thankful for her hero’s actions that night.

Katie says, “I’m going to always be incredibly grateful for you, I’m mean I can’t – I owe you everything; it means everything to me that you were there.”

She will celebrate her 29th birthday next week and adds, “I’m appreciative of everything that I have done in my life and what I have and everything I’m working towards.”

Amanda and Katie became friends and remain close since that night.

Katie continues care and research her heart condition.

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