Ed Klima is alive today because so many things went right.
He’s a testament to companies like Trinity Industries, his employer, who take part in the American Red Cross workplace safety training.
He’s the reason why businesses are encouraged to have an automated external defibrillator.
And he’s the person Lima Memorial Health System was talking about 20 years ago when it won its long drawn-out battle to perform heart surgeries in this region.
Remove any one of those three things from the equation and the 58-year-old Klima wouldn’t be around today to kiss his wife or hug his three sons.
A couple of weeks ago Klima had just returned from lunch on a warm, but wet day, and began taking inventory. Evan Hooker, a co-worker, happened to look over and saw Klima pass out, falling hard to the ground, his head striking the floor with a wrenching thud.
Hooker rushed to assist the fallen Klima, yelling for another nearby co-worker, Ryan Hanes, to get help. Klima wasn’t breathing and had no heartbeat when two other workers, Steve Studor and Arnold Vasquez, arrived and began administrating CPR. Klima still wasn’t responding when they reached for the defibrillator.
“We opened the defibrillator and the first thing we saw was a note saying ‘Please remain calm,’” plant manager Keith Hamburg recalled. “We followed the instructions and Steve and Arnold shocked Ed back to life.”
Klima’s son, Chris, who also works at Trinity, had arrived by then and was at his dad’s side.
“It was very emotional, but everybody’s training kicked in, and as the note reminded us, we stayed calm,” Hamburg said,
Everything happened in a span of 10 minutes.
Klima’s wife, Leah, was in Dayton when she received the news. A traveling nurse, she noted,”It was so surprising because until that moment, Ed was a picture of good health.”
At Lima Memorial, doctors determined Klima would need immediate open heart surgery.
Klima is now recovering in Columbus.
“Doctors there told me 0nly 10 percent of the people survive something like Ed faced,” said Leah Klima. “The fact he is one of 10, they said, is a result of workers at Trinity and doctors at LMH doing everything right.”
Safety is part of the culture at Trinity, which is located just off the Robb Avenue overpass. The workers who saved Klima’s life are the same workers who manufacture guardrails and other highway safety devices. The company sets up Red Cross safety training on an annual basis. It also makes sure all shifts include someone who has been through the training.
“You always wonder how you will respond should the time come. Everybody reacted quickly as a team. I’m so proud of these guys,” Hamburg said. “In my 30 years at Trinity, I’ve experienced a lot of things, but until April 27th, nothing like this.”
ROSES AND THORNS: It’s up, up and away for the rose garden.
Rose: To Rick Cusick, of Lima, who has been a hot air balloon pilot for 31 years. On Tuesday, he used a large fan to inflate a 69,000-square-foot balloon inside the St. Charles School gymnasium so students had a chance to see the immense size of the balloon.
Rose: To the Perry High School student who alerted school officials that a classmate brought a loaded pistol to school.
Thorn: To the Perry High School student who brought the loaded pistol to school and bragged to others he had a gun.
Thorn: Only 3,208 people, or 14 percent of Lima registered voters, cast a ballot in Tuesday’s primary election. That contrasts to 9,353 people who voted in the primary election in 1989 when David Berger first ran for mayor.
Thorn: It has been 244 days since the FBI entered the Allen County Sheriff’s Office with a search warrant, thus beginning the investigation of then Sheriff Sam Crish. There’s still no word of what the investigation has turned up.
Thorn: A teenager jumped over the pharmacy counter at Walgreens on Cable Road early Wednesday morning and held a gun to the pharmacist, demanding narcotics. Five hours later a 17-year-old boy and three others were arrested by the Piqua post of the Highway Patrol after an accident on Interstate 75 in Shelby County. Troopers found a large quantity of prescription pills and a 9mm handgun in the vehicle.
PARTING SHOT: “People who read the Bible more when they get older are really just cramming for their final exam.” — George Carlin.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.