Visiting Walt Disney World should be a time of magical memories, nostalgia, and Mickey Mouse. However, for one Guest, their trip would take a turn for the worse when they suffered a cardiac arrest at one of the Resort’s restaurants.
Thankfully, another Guest sprang into action during the incident and performed a serious act of heroism.
Made up of four theme parks, Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Central Florida attracts millions of visitors each year. Since reopening after the pandemic, many Guests have been flocking to The Walt Disney Company’s leading vacation destination for a dose of the Disney magic.
However, not every Guest’s trip to The Most Magical Place On Earth is filled with that signature Disney sparkle, and scary, real-life incidents can break the spell of a Disney World vacation. This was the case on Monday, August 29, 2022, when a Guest at one of the Resort’s many restaurants suffered a medical emergency, ruining their Disney experience.
After going into cardiac arrest, another Guest — career firefighter Lieutenant Paul Bucher sprang into action — and his actions changed the course of what could have been a tragic incident.
From upstate New York, Bucher is based at the Poughkeepsie Fire Department, and while vacationing at the Walt Disney World Resort used his lifesaving skills during the medical emergency. With his speedy response, Bucher noticed the Guest had stopped breathing and had no pulse.
Mid-Hudson News reported on the incident:
The lieutenant performed a precordial thump and began chest compressions while waiting for someone to bring him an automated external defibrillator (AED). By the time the AED arrived the patient had regained his pulse and was breathing on his own with his eyes open, due to Bucher’s work.
It is said that when the Reedy Creek Fire Department, Disney World’s onsite emergency services, arrived that the Guest was conscious and speaking with paramedics.
The report goes on to capture Bucher’s comments on the heroic act, they write:
Bucher, a career firefighter, told Mid-Hudson News that his training helped. “I was surprised at first – it unfolded very quickly,” he said. “I’m glad things seemed to have worked out.”
Unfortunately, it is not the first time Guests have had a hand in helping during an emergency or saving another’s life. Earlier this year, a Guest suffered a cardiac arrest while on board the Magic Kingdom Ferryboat at Park close; luckily, there was a medical professional also aboard the vessel and her quick actions saw the Guest remain breathing until the emergency services arrived. Likewise, over at Disneyland Park in Disneyland Paris, an off-duty nurse on vacation from the United Kingdom, used her training to save another Guest from choking while at one of the Resort’s restaurants.
Theme park incidents and injuries are common, especially at busy Resorts like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, in Florida, but thankfully, in this case, help was on hand to save the day during their Disney vacation.
Have you ever witnessed an act of heroism or bravery while on vacation at a Disney Park? Let us know in the comments down below!
Walt Disney World Resort boasts four theme parks: Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park. It also features two Disney water parks, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, and the retail and recreation area, Disney Springs. A valid ticket and Park Pass reservation are needed to enter each Park and Park Hopper hours begin at 2 p.m. daily. A theme park reservation can be made via the Walt Disney World website.