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Kevin saved a life while golfing

If you were out in public somewhere, just going about your day, and you saw someone collapse – someone you don’t know – what would you do? Most people don’t really know what they would do, until they’re actually put in that situation.

There are stories of people who witness something like this, and they just freeze. Or, if it’s a busy place like a public sidewalk and someone is on the ground, a lot of times everyone will just walk by. It’s an unfortunate psychology thing with humans called diffusion of responsibility – everyone thinks that someone else will help. And as a result, no one helps.

Thankfully, not everyone is like that. There are some people who see a situation, maybe a person in distress, and their first thought is “What can I do to help this person?”.

One of those people is Kevin Purcell, who you’ll meet in today’s episode.

Kevin Purcell
Kevin Purcell

Kevin is the Executive Director of the New Jersey State Golf Association. One day about a year ago, Kevin was finishing up a round of golf, and he saw something was happening on the course. As he looked more closely, he could see that a man was on the ground.

The man who had collapsed was Carlos Tapia, and he was having a heart attack.

In today’s episode, we’ll hear from Kevin what happened. And I was also able to get a few comments from Carlos, to get his perspective on that day.

Kevin Purcell and Carlos Tapia
Kevin Purcell and Carlos Tapia

Links to what we discussed in this episode:

And I also want to thank my friend Paul Kondo for connecting me with Kevin. If you’re looking for new podcasts to listen to, Paul publishes a weekly email newsletter that helps with that. Every Wednesday he highlights three podcast episodes that he has found interesting. Check it out at I don’t know if he’s related to Marie Kondo or not, but his sense of humor does spark joy for me and maybe you’ll like it too.

Update: In this episode, I mentioned that the “new” recommended way of doing CPR is compressions only, and does not include breaths. This is not entirely accurate. You can read a good explanation here.

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