Library worker dressed as Hulk saves 57-year-old man dying from heart attack

Library employee Tyron Waugh was dressed as the Incredible Hulk when he saved a man's life last week. Photo: Brodie Weeding. Hulk photo via roblox.com under Creative Commons
Library employee Tyron Waugh was dressed as the Incredible Hulk when he saved a man's life last week. Photo: Brodie Weeding. Hulk photo via roblox.com under Creative Commons

When Tasmanian Tyron Waugh donned a borrowed superhero costume for work last week, he was blissfully unaware of how appropriate his outfit would become.

Mr Waugh usually works in the upper levels of the Burnie Library, working on rosters and the day-to-day running of the library.

He said it had been a spur of the moment decision to check in on the ground floor staff, making sure they weren't short-staffed as the rest of the team focused on running children's activities for Book Week.

"One of the girls said she hadn't had a break so I said ... I'll look after things down here," he said.

"Within probably a minute or so someone said there was a guy that had collapsed across the road.

"I got the phone, dialed Triple 0. But then someone said he looked pretty bad and might need a defibrillator. At that stage I just said, you speak to the ambos, I'm going to go deal with this."

Mr Waugh grabbed the library's automatic external defibrillator and ran across Little Alexander Street, still dressed as the Incredible Hulk.

"It just so happened that my first aid course was only the week before, I'd done a refresher on Wednesday," he said.

"There was another man doing CPR, but as soon as I got there with the defibrillator I took over.

"I remember throwing the wig on the ground."

SUPERHERO: Library employee Tyron Waugh was dressed as the Incredible Hulk when he saved a man's life last week. Picture: Brodie Weeding

SUPERHERO: Library employee Tyron Waugh was dressed as the Incredible Hulk when he saved a man's life last week. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Mr Waugh said the machine had given the patient one shock before he took over and administered CPR until the ambulance arrived.

"For me it seemed like it was only a few seconds," he said

"It was great to be able to hand over to those guys. They're amazing, they do this sort of thing day in day out and probably don't always get the thanks they deserve."

AMBULANCE ARRIVES

Ambulance officer Ray Johnson said he arrived at the scene nine minutes after the Triple 0 call.

"We could see from a distance someone was administering CPR," he recalled.

"As we got closer I could see that it was the Hulk.

"I used to work in the Territory, so I've seen a lot of things. But that was something I hadn't seen before."

Tyron Waugh dressed as the Hulk for Book Week 2020. Picture: Supplied

Tyron Waugh dressed as the Hulk for Book Week 2020. Picture: Supplied

Mr Johnson said the man was sitting up and talking by the time they arrived at the hospital.

"(Tyron Waugh) gave him the best possible chance," he said. "He still had electrical activity when we got there, which is why we could shock him ... but he was technically dead.

"Without him (Mr Waugh) starting the CPR, most likely this man would be dead.

"We try to get the message out there ... it's better to do something than nothing."

ALIVE AND WELL

Mr Waugh said the man he helped showed up again at the Burnie Library on Monday, parking in the same spot he had nearly a week ago and standing where he had technically died.

"He came and gave me a hug and just kept shaking my hand," he said.

"He said to me, 'I was dead when I hit that ground. I was dead. I'm 57 and I've never smoked, my health has always been reasonable. I'm walking around because of you'.

"It's an amazing feeling to hear from someone who would be dead without you."

Despite having worked in a number of areas usually considered more risky than a library - including the army and as a life guard - Mr Waugh said it had been his first time using his CPR skills,

"Before this it's mainly been cuts and scrapes ... I've never had to perform CPR on someone before," he said.

"After everything calmed down a bit the manager and I were having a bit of a chuckle about the fact that I had to be dressed as the Hulk when it happened."

This story 'Incredible Hulk' saves man dying from heart attack first appeared on The Advocate.