Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Bobby Sunukjian says being in the right place – at the right time – saved his life.

Bobby, Delynda and George
On October 31, the Sunukjian family heads to the Cary Y for an afternoon workout. Bobby and his wife, Rachel, drop off their two young children in the nursery. Rachel heads to her group fitness class. Thirty-eight-year-old Bobby hits the track.

When he’s done, Bobby goes to the Mens’ Locker Room to cool down.

Meantime, Cary Y staff member George Wait makes his usual rounds of the building. As he enters the locker room, George notices Bobby slumped over in a chair and unresponsive.

“Call 911 and bring the crash bag,” George exclaims over the walkie talkie.

That’s when Cary Y member Jeff Worthington walks into the locker room. Like Bobby, Jeff wants to fit in an afternoon workout. His plans change as he immediately helps George lower Bobby to the ground. By now, Bobby doesn’t have a pulse.

“One, two, three, four,” counts Jeff as George starts chest compressions on Bobby.

Delynda Ramirez-Carter works the front desk at the Cary YMCA on this Halloween. She hears George’s request over the walkie and rushes into the locker room with the automated external defibrillator or AED. George and Jeff step aside as Delynda places the AED pads on Bobby’s chest.

“Clear,” says Delynda as she administers the first shock of the AED.

Like intricate choreography, George immediately takes over with more chest compressions. Within 30 seconds, Bobby starts to become alert. George and Jeff place Bobby in the recovery position and give him oxygen.

As the fire department and EMS crew arrive, Bobby is talking and answering questions.

“Delynda and George care so deeply for the members of the Cary Y. I am thankful that I work beside such quick reacting, talented and compassionate people,” said Diane Hillsgrove, Cary Family YMCA Branch Director.

Bobby and Rachel Sunukjian have been regular members of the Cary Y. They know the faces and names of many of the friendly staff. But Bobby and Rachel didn’t know that many of those Y staff members are trained emergency responders.

“We are blessed to have staff members like George and Delynda on our team who are willing and ready to respond when life threatening situations arise,” Brad Emory, Associate Branch Director Administration, remarked. “God certainly used them on October 31 to provide the care that Bobby Sunukjian needed at that moment. “

In June, the Triangle Chapter of the American Red Cross presented George Wait and Delynda Ramirez-Carter with the Lifesaving Award for the Professional Responder, the highest award given by the American Red Cross. Click here to watch the presentation.

A healthy and very happy Bobby Sunukjian was there for the presentation.

“I couldn’t ask for a better team that day,” Bobby said at the presentation. “George and Delynda were so well trained and in the right place. The right equipment was in place. But this was much more than equipment. When it all comes together it is a like a symphony. In this case, the symphony saved my life.”

The Cary Family YMCA is a branch of the YMCA of the Triangle.

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