August 16, 2016
Little did Rex Hardin know when he woke up the morning of June 27th he only had a 2% chance of living. His day started like any other with no signs or symptoms that later that day he would end up out cold on the jiu-jitsu mat followed by waking up in an ambulance.
It was fate that Jordana Taji, Emergency Room Nurse at Orange Park Medical Center and Rex met on June 27th. Both members of Knuckle Up Martial Arts & Fitness typically attend different jiu-jitsu classes but due to a scheduling conflict for Jordana they ended up in the same class that evening. Their paths truly crossed when Rex suddenly collapsed face down onto the floor and Jordana sprang into action.
From her experience in the Orange Park Medical Center ER Jordana quickly knew the severity of the situation. She quickly turned to three other medically trained members in the class, including Knuckle Up's Owner David Werner. As another classmate called for an ambulance, Jordana without hesitation led the team to perform CPR, commanding each step until EMS arrived. Once EMS arrived, Jordana assisted the rescue team with the IV while they got Rex onto a stretcher and on his way to a hospital.
"I had the amazing experience of working beside Jordana and that will not be soon forgotten. While others could have panicked, she sprung into action with the kind of passion you hope for in a nurse", said David Werner, Owner of Knuckle Up Martial Arts & Fitness, "I have never witnessed her in her element but I can say now that Orange Park Medical Center is lucky to have her working in their emergency room."
Rex beat the 98% odds that he would not make it through what he now knows was Afib. Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is an irregular or rapid heart rate which can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure or other heart-related complications. An implanted defibrillator device and six stents later, he knows that if it weren't for Jordana he wouldn't be here today. "When you're lying in the hospital for six days all you can think about is all of the things leading up to that moment. If I had stayed home that night or Jordana hadn't ended up in my class, I would have never made it" said Rex.
Since his recovery Rex has watched his oldest son get married, his youngest start pre-k and has reunited with his father's family. None of which would have been possible without Jordana.
Jennifer Mick, Director of Emergency Services at Orange Park Medical Center says, "Hearing this story reaffirms all of the reasons we do what we do here every day. The caliber of staff we have and quality of care we offer doesn't stop at our front door. Jordana went above and beyond and we're more than proud of her."
Following the incident Jordana encouraged Knuckle Up's Owner David to attend the CPR certification classes offered at Orange Park Medical Center. After he and his 17-year old daughter, an aspiring nurse, completed the CPR course and became certified he now promotes and pays for all of his customers to attend the CPR course.
For more information on CPR classes available at Orange Park Medical Center visit orangeparkmedical.com/calendar/ or call 800-889-3627 for the class schedule.
Jordana will be honored with the Orange Park Medical Center Life Saver Award on Tuesday August 30th at 4:30pm. The award will be appropriately presented to Jordana by Rex with great honor and gratitude.