NEW YORK -- Erasmus Hall Athletic Director Marshall Tames is "doing well" following triple bypass surgery after suffering a heart attack while announcing a high school football game this weekend, according to Dr. Ed Golembe, who treated him at the site. Tames is currently in the open-heart intensive care unit at Maimonides Medical Center.
"I just spoke with the cardiac surgeon," said Golembe, who is the director of the Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing Center at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn. "[Tames] is doing quite well for the day after surgery."
The whole life-and-death drama was overheard by those in attendance at Midwood High School Athletic Complex in Brooklyn, as the PA system was left on inadvertently.
During the first half of Saturday's playoff game between Erasmus Hall and Dewitt Clinton, an announcement was made that a doctor was needed. When Golembe went up to the announcer's booth, he found Tames in full cardiac arrest. A volunteer coach from Midwood High School had already started CPR before Golembe took over the duties. Golembe volunteers as Erasmus Hall's team physician.
PSAL regulations state that there must be an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) on site for each game, and Golembe quickly used the machine. Golembe shocked Tames, and after he did, he again started CPR. Golembe estimates that within 10 to 20 seconds Tames showed some color in his face and became more alert and responsive.
Emergency units arrived shortly thereafter, by which point Tames was in stable condition.
"I don't know if it was General Patton who said luck goes to the prepared," Golembe said. "The fact that the defibrillator must be on the premises is probably the single greatest factor. The fact that he is alive today, if you want to call it luck, you can call it luck, I would prefer to call it good planning."
Golembe said the heart attack might have been brewing for awhile, as he was informed later that Tames was having chest pain and some heartburn for several days.
Dewitt Clinton head coach Howard Langley, whose team won the game, said he didn't know what was going on, but knew it was serious when he saw paramedics come onto the field. He was told right before the second half started what had happened, but chose not to tell his players. He said parents in his section of the stands heard the rescue over the PA.
"I was shocked," Langley said. "We met him when our team showed up and he showed us where we were going to be, where the bathrooms were. He was a very nice man. He had a program showing the history of the two schools that goes back to the early 1920s and he seemed like a real nice guy dedicated to what he was doing.
"I think the big part is kudos to the PSAL for mandating a doctor be at the game and a defibrillator on each sideline. That came into effect on Saturday."
Matt Ehalt is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.