RENNER, S.D. (KELO) — A South Dakota baseball coach is alive today thanks to a series of lucky coincidences or, as some might call it, fate.
Friday afternoon, Shane Vanderloo was alone at the Renner baseball field doing maintenance, something he enjoys. At a spot between third base and home plate, he suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed.
Moments later, Jeff Mott and Jamie Sorum happened to be driving home from the lake when Jamie spotted someone lying on the infield.
The two men discovered Shane unconscious and started CPR. Shane was purple and it didn’t look good, but they kept going. Mott spotted a woman and yelled at her to find an AED.
“My full concentration was on just keeping the man alive. That was it. There was no excitement, everybody stayed calm. There [were] three people out there, we all worked as a good team, and I was just hoping and praying that this man would come out of it,” Mott recounted to Nexstar’s KELO.
A woman arrived with the AED, and they followed the automated voice prompts. Soon after, an ambulance crew arrived, and Shane was eventually airlifted to the hospital.
As it turns out, the AED that saved Shane’s life only came to the field about nine weeks ago. Amy Barr, a nurse who has two sons playing on the team, helped install it.
“We were fortunate to be donated an AED that we had hung in our concession stand, and thankfully, it was here,” said Barr.
“The fact that there was an AED nearby played a big part because that AED, I believe, saved his life,” said Mott. “I’ve been trained for over 10 years, and I’ve never used it. And I pray I never have to use it again, but I’m sure glad I had it when the time came.”
Shane’s wife, Tonia, tracked Mott down on Facebook.
“So I got in touch with Jeff, and I told him I really wanted to meet him because he is Shane’s guardian angel. And Shane wants to meet him as well when he is able.”
KELO was there as Tonia and Jeff met face-to-face.
“They are Shane’s guardian angels. He would not be here if it wasn’t for them,” said Tonia.
“It’s all fate, it really is. What made Jamie look on the ball diamond? I didn’t even look. Things happen for a reason, I guess,” said Mott.
Mott says this opened his eyes to the need for everyone to be trained. He runs the Baltic American Legion and says they will team up with the Renner Fire Department and put on classes for the public on both CPR and AED use.
Coach Vanderloo is now recovering at a Sioux Falls hospital; his wife says he is doing well. There is a GoFundMe to help with the coach’s medical expenses.