MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO – A Bridgeton man is recovering in the hospital after a brush with death Friday evening (Sept. 7). Fortunately, several heroes were in the right place at the right time to see to it he survived.
Lyle and Eileen Barcomb were traveling to their niece's wedding when Eileen said their car began to slow down on 141 near Ladue Road. She looked over to her husband who was driving.
"All he said was, 'I'm dizzy,' and boom. That was it," Barcomb said.
Lyle fell unconscious while behind the wheel of their moving car. Barcomb climbed over the center consul to her husband. She worked to get his foot off the gas pedal and tried to push the brake with her own foot, while also steering the car and trying to guide it to the side of the road.
Barcomb's relatives were in another vehicle following them to the wedding. They could tell something was wrong as Barcomb struggled to get the car to the curb. When Barcomb got the car in park, she got out and ran around the car to her husband's side.
"He's slumped over," she said. "I put the seat back a little bit, and I pounded on his chest twice, and he gasped and I said, 'Don't you dare leave me.' I said, 'I'm not ready for you to be gone.'"
Minutes later, Barcomb was joined on the road by members of Boy Scout Troop 533 and their leader, Mary Jane "MJ" Aydelott, who stopped to help.
“She grabs him by the belt, puts him on the ground,” Barcomb said of Aydelott, who was dressed in a scout uniform.
What Barcomb did not know at the time was troop leader Aydelott is also a paramedic/firefighter with the Pattonville Fire Protection District.
"She seemed to know exactly what she was going to do," Barcomb said of Aydelott. "She took charge."
While Aydelott performed CPR on Lyle, her troop helped secure the scene by directing traffic around the Barcombs' car and speaking with family members who were in fear for Lyle's life.
"That was just all part of their training that they’ve gone through that kicked in,” said Aydelott.
Fortunately, the Monarch Fire Protection District arrived moments after. Captain Brent Coleman said in medical cases like Lyle's, time is of the essence. Aydelott's early efforts may have made all the difference.
"Having that CPR prior to our arrival, that’s absolutely essential," said Coleman.
The Monarch crew administered shocks to Lyle on the side of the road and got his heart started again. Aydelott continued to assist her fellow firefighters at the scene until Lyle was taken to St. Luke's Hospital. His condition improves each day.
"For him to make this full recovery is a miracle, and I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time," said Aydelott.
Aydelott encourages everyone to go through CPR training to be available to help in an emergency like this. Barcomb said she and several family members plan to pay it forward by getting trained together.