A veteran umpire widely known for a botched call that cost a major league pitcher a perfect game is now getting attention for making the right call — one that saved the life of a ballpark worker — and used it Friday to call attention to the importance of knowing CPR.
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Jim Joyce performed CPR just minutes after Janie Powers, a longtime Arizona Diamondbacks worker, suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed before her shift earlier this week at Chase Field in Phoenix.Story: 'I knew what to do': Teen uses CPR to save stranger
Speaking to TODAY’s Matt Lauer Friday from Phoenix, Powers told Matt Lauer she remembers telling a friend she didn’t feel well.
“I said, ‘So if I pass out,’ and that’s all I remember,” she told Lauer. She recalls people around her calling for help, but nobody responding.
“And then Jim was walking down the tunnel, right where I was, and all of a sudden he came out of nowhere, and he said, ‘I know CPR,’ and he took over from there,” said Powers, who was released from the hospital Thursday after getting a pacemaker installed.Story: Woman, 22, lifts BMW off dad and saves his life
Joyce learned CPR as a lifeguard in his youth, and used it once before about 30 years ago, but he said he had no problem remembering what to do when he saw Powers crumpled on the ground.
Speaking to Lauer from Chicago during a joint interview with Powers, he said: “It was nothing more than instinct. I knew that Janie was in trouble. When I checked her vitals, she wasn’t breathing, and there was no pulse, and I knew she was in a lot of trouble at that particular time. And literally, it was just instinct that took over.”Story: Sole survivor of plane crash making ‘miracle’ recovery
Joyce and his wife later visited Powers in the hospital to check on her progress.
“I said a couple of words and then the emotions just took over,” he said. “I think it was maybe 30 seconds of down time after that because we had to just take a couple of deep breaths and just catch ourselves.”Video: Baseball ump who saved woman speaks out (on this page)
Joyce last drew national attention two years ago for a call that cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. Joyce admitted blowing the call the next day, and Galarraga accepted his apology with a handshake.
Joyce took advantage of his newest round of fame to draw attention to the importance of learning CPR.
“CPR can be learned by everybody,” he said. “It only takes one time. Even if you never use it again but that one time, it might be the most important time in somebody’s life.”
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