St. Patrick's Day may be lucky for the Irish, but it also was a fortunate day for Bexley-area resident Louis Pallay.
Pallay was found unconscious March 17 in the men's locker room at L.A. Fitness on Goodale Boulevard, and his life likely was saved by the quick action of employee Colleen Kenny and Dr. Michael Wellner.
Kenny and Wellner applied CPR and used a defibrillator on Pallay, which allowed Grandview and Columbus medics to restore a spontaneous pulse and breathing in him after they arrived on the scene.
The pair were recognized with the Grandview fire department's Public Safety Award during Grandview Heights City Council's meeting Monday, May 6.
Pallay became gravely ill while working out at the gym and collapsed in the men's locker room, Fire Chief Steve Shaner said.
Kenny, who was working at the front desk, was advised that a man was found unconscious in the locker room and immediately began performing CPR and using the defibrillator when she arrived in the room.
Wellner, an internal medicine physician, stepped in to help, and he and Kenny each worked on Pallay until medics could arrive.
Pallay attended the council meeting and expressed gratitude for the assistance he received.
"The only thing I can say is they truly did save my life," he said. "I flat-lined and I was out -- I was gone. Due to their quick response, they started CPR and then shocked me back into a pulse."
Pallay said he has since read the "staggering numbers" regarding the success rate of such an incident, which he said can be as low as 6 percent.
"I'm truly indebted to these two wonderful people," he said. "They truly deserve all the recognition they get."
"He was very lucky to have folks who knew what they were doing and (had) the time to help him out," Shaner said.
"We try to do our best and the hospital staff try to do their best, but sometimes there's a missing link, and that is bystanders or people who witness an event" and take action, he said. "The chances of survival always increase when there are bystanders there to help out at the time of an event."
About seven weeks after his incident, Pallay "looks awesome," Shaner said.
Also at this week's meeting, council approved a resolution of appreciation recognizing the 13 members of Girl Scout Junior Troop 2219.
The troop worked with the city to investigate the proper use of smoke detectors and created informational posters and fliers about the importance of smoke detectors in the home. They distributed the fliers March 23 at an information booth they set up at the Grandview Heights Public Library.
The troop earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award for its project.
Troop members are: Claire Bower, Lindsey Dickerson, Taylor Edington, Cassidy Kerdes, Emmalyn Kukura, Georgia Ryan, Elaine Smith, Kathryn Smith, Elaine Tong, Sarah Van Horn, Leah Voltolini, Audrey Wade and Meghan Watters.