Heroic actions from a college wrestler in Iowa reportedly saved the life of a co-worker earlier this month. As reported by The Des Moines Register, Diego Aguilera, a wrestler at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, recently came to the rescue of a co-worker who suffered a heart attack while on shift at a local Walmart.
Per The Register, the incident occurred on Sept. 17, which was Aguilera’s first day on the job. Per the account from The Register, Aguilera was being trained by a colleague in his 60s when the man suddenly clutched in his chest and slumped over, leading Aguilera to jump into action and ultimately help his colleague regain consciousness before additional help came and the man was transported to a hospital in Sioux City.
From The Register:
“On Sept. 17, Aguilera was starting his first day of work at the Walmart in Storm Lake. He was being trained as an associate in the produce department by a colleague in his 60s. They stocked shelves into the evening, then retired to a break room in the back. There, Aguilera said, the man clutched his chest and slumped over a box of bananas …
The man was having a heart attack. Aguilera jumped into action. He checked the man’s pulse and felt it slow down. He started chest compressions — which he learned through high school wrestling — and when the man regained consciousness, Aguilera asked him questions to help him stay awake.”
Neither the name nor the current condition of the colleague was revealed in the story. According to The Register, Aguilera said that it was less panic and more problem-solving when he realized what was unfolding in front of him.
“In my mind, it wasn’t really scary in that moment,” Aguilera said, per The Register. “It was more: What can I do right now to help? It wasn’t a matter of being scared or thinking I can’t do this. There was no time to think about it. I had to keep moving.”
Mark Rial, Aguilera’s coach at Buena Vista, said he was inspired by the initiative and composure that his wrestler displayed when he was first made aware of what occurred.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Rial said, per The Register. “I’m just so impressed with the maturity. He’s in a new place, far away from home, so for him to do that without a second thought, it’s pretty incredible. You always put yourself in those situations. You know, what would you do? I’d hope to react the same way he did.”
A native of Pharr, Texas, Aguilera didn’t pursue a wrestling career until his freshman year of high school, per The Register. According to the report, Aguilera attended a wrestling camp in Iowa prior to his senior year of high school, leading to the connection between him and Buena Vista.