George Trujeque


George Trujeque, the director of UNM Golf Courses knows that trouble can happen anywhere, at any time. He put his Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training to use last month when a man watching his grandson play the 14th hole at UNM's Championship Golf Course collapsed into a cart.

A quick thinking coach jumped into the cart and drove it to the clubhouse while calling for help. Trujeque was ready with an Automated External Defibrillator. He and the coach laid the man out in the clubhouse but his pulse was weak and erratic. Trujeque shocked the man's heart and he began CPR.

When paramedics arrived, they took over the CPR and rushed the man to a local hospital where doctors put him into a medically induced coma to try to contain the damage. Three weeks later, the man called the golf course and asked Trujeque for a tee time. The man was joking – he still faces heart surgery, but he knows Trujeque had a big part in his survival.

Trujeque says a golf course is a place you might expect someone to have a heart attack. That's why he has made special efforts to train his staff and even volunteers who work at the golf course as player assistants. Some of the volunteers will be going to training offered on Saturday, June 23 at a Heart Start event at Johnson Center's South Gym.

The training is free. Anyone can learn CPR and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Trujeque says having the AED device at the clubhouse made a huge difference to him because it tells the user exactly what to do and even sets a rhythm for the CPR chest compressions.   

"You know, we're more susceptible out here because it's a more physically demanding area than say Popejoy Hall or anything like that," said Trujeque. "But it can happen anywhere. It can happen at the Pit where you are walking up those stairs."

UNM is encouraging everyone who is interested to attend the free sessions for Project Heart Start. Three sessions will be offered on Saturday, June 23 at 8 a.m., at 9 a.m., and at 10 a.m.  Anyone with questions can call (505) 843-2814 or go to the website at Project Heart Start.

Media contact: Karen Wentworth (505) 277-5627; email: kwent2@unm.edu