SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Wyoming man who had a heart attack while hunting near Gregory says he’s alive today for one simple reason. The hunting lodge where he was staying had an Automated External Defibrillator or AED.
Jack Scarlett is one week out from surgery at the Avera Heart Hospital. Surrounded by his wife and two sons, he says his recovery is going well. This rancher from Lander, Wyoming, has hunted and guided for most of his life. As a kid, he would often see Joe Foss.
The South Dakota governor was an avid hunter who would host pheasant hunts here, but would visit the Scarlett’s ranch in Wyoming to hunt antelope.
Last Thursday Jack was pheasant hunting with his son Tom and friends from Wyoming at Southfork near Gregory when he collapsed. They started CPR.
“They would get his heart and his pulse up, and when they stopped, it would stop, and Jason from Southfork, who runs the property he called into the lodge, asked them to bring out the AED, and they did, and it shocked Dad, got his heart going again,” said Tom.
Jack doesn’t remember any of it.
“Thank goodness the lodge had the, I guess it’s, called a defibrillator? Sue can tell you I’m never emotional since this I am,” said Jack.
His wife Sue says the entire family is thankful the lodge had an AED. Southfork had purchased it from Avera back in 2006.
“Makes me think everyone should have one. You just never know when you are going to get hit sideways like that,” said Sue.
Jack says he decided to tell his story because…
“Well I’d like to help somebody else because I guess if they didn’t have it, I would be back at Wyoming at a funeral,” said Jack.
Jack had 90 percent blockage in his heart and has months of recovery ahead of him. They’ll head back to Lander when he’s well enough.
“I hope we go back to being, we probably won’t be quite who we were. We will go back to enjoying our family and our life and probably have some more healthy practices, but I’m just hoping things return to normal,” said Sue.
A normal that will now include a new mission. Encouraging all businesses to have an AED.
The heart hospital will give advice and help companies purchase and properly maintain AEDs. You can call 605-977-7026 for information on AEDs.