Last Saturday, a friend of mine was cycling along the Summerland coast when he saw a man pull his car over, get out, and frantically try to wake up his unconscious wife. My friend, Chris, put that Red Cross CPR training that we all have and never use, (I get to push drugs and jolt with joules which is quite a bit of fun and less messy), and kept the woman alive until paramedics arrived to whisk her away to Cottage Hospital. Once at Cottage she was put on ice, literally, because chilling the brain to 92 degrees helps to prevent permanent, anoxic, neurological damage in those suffering a heart attack. She remained in the ICU for several days and was transferred today to the telemetry floor. I stopped by her room to visit per Chris’ request and because I like to make a point of looking after people incarcerated on my floor of the hospital, especially when they are a friend or family member of somebody in my life.
The woman’s husband was emotional, having been worn down watching the ordeal that his wife has been through. Every time that the name, “Chris” touched his lips, tears rolled from his eyes unbidden. I saw disbelief and wonderment in those eyes. He was so surprised that somebody would take the time to keep his wife of fifty years alive that I was embarrassed to be a part of a world where the possibility of not stopping to restart a heart was an option.
You can be prepared for a situation like this by getting trained in CPR through the Red Cross – you never know when you will be able to help someone in need.