Two well-known community figures in the world of baseball received the Mayors Award from View Royal Mayor Graham Hill for their role in saving a life.
On June 17, during cleanup at little league baseball closing ceremonies in Esquimalt, Esquimalt Baseball Association president Chris Moerike was taking down a bouncy castle when he dropped to the ground. At 38 years old, Moerike was having a heart attack.
The people around him sprung to action, including Mike Walker and Chris Kruz, known simply as Kruz.
Kruz has training in first aid as a youth worker with the Boys and Girls Club of Victoria. Moerike had stopped breathing and Kruz set about performing CPR and chest compressions on Moerike, while Walker called 911 and relayed instructions to Kruz.
“He was down and he was in real bad distress, so we weren’t sure if he was having a seizure or what was going on,” said Walker.
Others helped keep Moerike’s two children out of sight of their father and helped calm his wife.
Moerike started breathing, but then had stopped again by the time the ambulance arrived. Paramedics took over, gave Moerike an adrenaline shot, shocked him with a defibrillator and took him to the hospital.
“We couldn’t really tell if he was coming back,” Kruz said.
Luckily Moerike, a father of two, survived after having surgery for two blocked arteries. He is now back at work and doing well.
Emergency personnel have since told those involved that if Walker and Kruz had not helped Moerke, he would have likely died.
Hill recognized the lifesaving quick action by the two men at a View Royal council meeting. Walker lives in View Royal and the Esquimalt Baseball Association incorporates View Royal.
“We have a couple of people that we would like to recognize as making the difference in somebody’s life. Making a huge difference, in fact,” Hill said. “You saved a life. God bless you. Thank you.”
“It would have been what anybody would have done I think if put in the same situation,” Walker said. “I accepted that award on behalf of all the volunteers and parents that were there. … It was a complete group effort in ensuring that everything went smoothly for the emergency personnel.”
“I feel honoured that I got it,” Kruz said, adding the attention makes him uncomfortable. “You go through the motions and you do what you’re trained to do. I’m just glad it all worked out really.”