Published on June 23, 2021

Silver Cross Nurse in the Right Place at the Right Time

Sue HuculWhen 30-year Silver Cross veteran Sue Hucul, RN, had a quick change in plans on June 2, she had no idea that plan change would result in her helping to save someone’s life!

Sue regularly attends a water aerobics class at Inwood Joliet’s Park District Pool. But not the noon class. This particular day, she had an opening in her schedule, and she decided to join in. When she was running a little bit late, she contemplated not going at all. Little did she know there were bigger plans in store!   

Just 15 minutes into the class, Sue heard a panicked call for help behind her. As Sue turned around to look, she saw a woman yelling for help, desperately trying to keep her 76-year-old friend in distress above water. Her friend had a blank look in her eyes and had stopped breathing.

Sue and the lifeguards immediately rushed over, bringing the woman safely to the side of the pool and heroically lifted her out of the water to begin their life-saving efforts. One of the lifeguards began chest compressions, another began with breathing assistance and drying the patient off so that Sue could deliver a shock with the nearby automated external defibrillator (AED), ultimately saving her life.

“It was a good team effort – everyone did a great job! Thankfully we were already in the water, so we could quickly tend to the woman,” Sue describes.

Sue Hucul and TrishAs a nurse on the telemetry unit at Silver Cross, Sue is well versed in cardiac care and knew just what to do. She also recognized the well-trained lifeguards who were on-duty this fateful day!

“I have to give a huge shout-out to the lifeguards who were there that day. They were so well-trained in CPR!”  Sue shared.  “To see the woman come back after this event, talking a little bit and breathing on her own and otherwise stabilized… It was just remarkable!”

Sue also gave credit to her training at Silver Cross Hospital over the last 30 years for being able to jump in as readily as she did.

“Silver Cross keeps nurses trained and at-the-ready with advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training every two years as part of their certification.”

Sue, a mother of three grown children and grandmother to two, had to pause when it was all said and done, thinking “Did that really happen?”

“It was meant to be that I was at that class that day.”

We couldn't be more proud of Sue for her bravery and quick-thinking, helping to save the life of a member of our community that day in early June. The stars aligned for all, and Sue is the epitome of a true healthcare hero!

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.