Southcoast Physician Helped Save Man’s Life While Hiking With Family

Southcoast Health OB/GYN Dr. Chelsea Martin and her family were hiking in Acadia National Park last month when they found themselves in the middle of a medical emergency.

She and her ER physician husband, along with their triplets and dog, were halfway into a 5.5-mile afternoon hike when they turned a corner to find an unexpected sight: A woman, two small children, and a couple attempting chest compressions on an “active and healthy” adult male in their 40s.

“We hurried and parked our stroller to the side. We assessed the patient and found him to be gray with no pulse or respiratory effort. We immediately started Basic Life Support (BLS) with my husband risking his health by volunteering to give rescue breaths during the pandemic. We charged the first couple on scene with timing our efforts and calling 911,” Dr. Martin says.

Park rangers responded within 10 minutes with a defibrillator. “He luckily had a shockable rhythm” she says. “We noted a pulse after a few minutes of receiving defibrillation and continued chest compressions.”

Emergency Medical Services arrived with oxygen and were able to transport the patient off the trail.

The patient’s wife contacted Dr. Martin after the incident to follow up on his status. “He was stabilized in a hospital near Acadia, then transferred to a hospital where they live in New York. He is recovering and rehabbing.”

While Dr. Martin’s husband encounters cardiac arrest daily in the hospital setting, she says, “This was the first time that either of us had encountered it in the ‘wild.’ We feel certain that we were meant to be there.”

Dr. Martin credits CPR as the emergency life-saving procedure to help save the man’s life. “We should all remain up-to-date with CPR skills and the importance of taking a family history of heart disease seriously.”

Learn more about Dr. Martin at And for information on the Southcoast Cardiovascular Care Center, visit