Lightning, and then a life saved

January 15, 2015

Amy Schoenberger, a medical/oncology nurse at SSM St. Joseph Hospital West in Lake St. Louis, Mo., was driving her children to a soccer game in St. Louis County on a rainy Aug. 28 when she saw someone in distress by the roadside. She pulled over.

A bicyclist, 51-year-old Joe Adams of Ballwin, Mo., had been struck by lightning. His heart and breathing had stopped, explained Greg Neunuebel, spokesperson for SSM Health Care. Schoenberger grabbed CPR equipment from her car and went to work on Adams, performing resuscitation for an estimated five to 12 minutes before handing Adams off to paramedics, who revived him en route to SSM DePaul Health Center in Bridgeton, Mo. After a stay in the intensive care unit and rehabilitation, Adams returned to work and was back to riding his bike just one month after the incident, Neunuebel said.

On Oct. 30, Schoenberger, Pattonville Fire District paramedics and nurses and physicians from the emergency department and ICU at SSM DePaul Health Center were honored at a Clinical Save Award ceremony at the hospital. Above, Adams and Schoenberger share a hug at the event.


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