For that matter, neither was anyone else who was nearby.
What started out as a typical round of golf at the Truro Golf Club men’s championship last week quickly turned serious.
Freeman Maxwell, a longtime and well-known Truro golfer, had just teed off on the first hole and began walking down the fairway when he suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed.
“Myself and a few others were on the next tee, just up ahead, and my buddy Trevor (Jordan) noticed that there was somebody down, and we figured it was (Freeman) because he had an episode before similar to that but not nearly as serious,” said Jackson.
Kevin Hayden and Ken Atkinson were playing in the group behind Maxwell. They saw him collapse and were the first to him, while Jackson arrived soon after.
Maxwell was unresponsive.
“We got right up there and he wasn’t responding to nothing,” said Atkinson.
After checking for vital signs, the men performed CPR on Maxwell. Hayden and Atkinson did chest compressions and Jackson performed mouth-to-mouth breathing.
“It was one of those things where somebody’s not responsive for a little while you start thinking the worst, of course, and you just do what you’ve got to do, I guess, and I was more scared than anything … because he’s my uncle,” said Jackson.
Friend and fellow golfer Abdul Rafih, who also assisted with CPR, made a 911 call and first responders arrived on scene within minutes. Paramedics and the Truro Fire Service continued to treat Maxwell and resuscitated him. He was taken to hospital in Halifax where he is now recovering.
Word of the ordeal quickly spread throughout the golf course, and naturally, the tournament took a back seat to Maxwell’s health.
“People were pretty rattled and just really relieved that he’s receiving the proper medical care and that they’re going to do everything they can to find the root of the problem and get the proper treatment or supports for him,” said Jackson.
Jackson said it’s “hard to tell” if the quick action taken by the men helped save Maxwell’s life, but he knew they had to do something.
“There was a point there where I was scared for his life, to be honest with you,” he said. “So you’ve got to try and do whatever you can do.
“Some people might jump to the conclusion that we saved his life – we’ll never know. I’m just glad he’s alive because I didn’t want him to die there knowing that maybe there’s something we could’ve done that maybe we didn’t do. That was my worst fear.”
Atkinson also downplayed his part in helping his friend, and believes that he and the other men acted in the same way others would if the roles had been reversed.
“We just did what we hope somebody would do for us,” he said, adding first responders are the ones who should be commended.
Danny Maxwell, however, says early action taken by the men was key to helping his younger brother survive.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Most of the doctors and the guys from the paramedics said if they hadn’t of been there at the time it happened he wouldn’t have made it.”