Community News

Athletic Trainers Honored for Heroic Act at Lifesaver Award Presentation

by: Jenna Brossman
Posted: April 24, 2017

HUNTINGTON BEACH...Two athletic trainers (AT) have been honored for saving an athlete’s life after he collapsed on Golden West College’s track during practice on January 25. The California Athletic Trainers’ Association (CATA) presented its “Lifesaver Award” to Golden West College AT Pat Frohn and CSULB AT Student Tori Mulitauaopele, to recognize their heroic actions. 

The ceremony recounted the events of that day when GWC’s track coach ran into Frohn’s office after Javier Venegas, a 20-year-old track athlete, collapsed on the track and wasn’t breathing.

 Jumping into action, Frohn grabbed his emergency pack, containing an AED, and raced to the track with athletic training intern Mulitauaopele and the track coach. As the three arrived on the scene, GWC Assistant Track Coach Hank Cochrane was administering chest compressions on the student and Frohn assessed the student’s condition. 

 “After checking his vitals, I confirmed Javier wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse,” said Frohn. “At that point I took over chest compressions and instructed Tori to start rescue breathing.”

 Frohn used the AED as he and Mulitauaopele continued CPR; Frohn delivered the jolt and Venegas’ heart started beating and he began breathing. At this point, the EMT arrived and transported the athlete to the emergency room, where he was put into a medically induced coma. 

 Today, Venegas is fully recovered from what was determined to be a heart arrhythmia. The cardiologists who treated Venegas and his family credit the athletic trainers with saving his life that day.

 “Each cardiologist who saw him, at three different hospitals, said Javier was alive today because these individuals took quick action,” said Valerie Venegas, Javier’s mother. “Luckily, the right people were in the right place at the right time; this could have been a very different story.”

Dr. Jason Bennett, CATA President, said, “The events of January 25 underscore the importance of having qualified athletic trainers overseeing the care of athletes, spectators and the public. Currently, California remains the only state in the nation that doesn’t regulate athletic training, which means anyone – regardless of education and certification – can act as an athletic trainer, and treat serious injuries with potentially dire consequences. For the sake of our children, this needs to change now.” 

 Bennett added that the CATA and Assemblymember Matt Dababneh (D-Encino) recently introduced legislation – AB 1510 – that would remedy this problem by requiring licensure for athletic trainers in California. 

 Also on hand to recognize the athletic trainers for their efforts at the event were State Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) and Collin Edwards, district director for Assemblymember Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach).

 “Beyond saving a life, Pat and Tori changed the lives of many. As a parent, I can understand the deep sense of gratitude that the Venegas family has for Pat and Tori. As a neighbor to Golden West College, I am thankful to know that we have great staff and students that go beyond the call of duty to serve others. And as a believer in humanity, I am comforted in knowing that kindness and goodwill are among us,” said State Senator Janet Nguyen.  

 



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