1 minute readHealth & Safety
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How CPR Training Can Help Save Lives

At the Red Cross, we offer a variety of courses that cover topics ranging from first aid and performing CPR to water safety and babysitting skills. Each course was created to teach the lifesaving training and skills you need to help prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Read on to learn how this training helped save Bob Carey’s life when he went into cardiac arrest while spending time with his family.

The Power of Family

The last thing Bob remembers was helping his son and daughter-in-law prepare their van for a trip. He was charging batteries for his drill when he lost consciousness and fell to the floor. When his wife Sharon found him, he had no pulse. She immediately called 9-1-1. Thankfully, Bob’s daughter-in-law, Deann, is a Certified Nurse Aide II, and his son, AJ, took a CPR instructor course during his last year at Gardner Webb-University. Together, they performed chest compressions while they waited for first responders to arrive. Deann and AJ performed chest compressions for 25 minutes, and first responders shocked Bob’s heart with an AED three times. Fortunately, due to the unwavering commitment of his family and several first responders, including Stephanie Fraccola and her husband Tony, Bob finally had a pulse.


When Bob was brought to the hospital, he stayed in the cardiac intensive care unit for several days. His family remembers him speaking in a loop. His wife says he would turn to her and say, “I had a heart attack,” then repeat it every few minutes. Doctors said loss of memory was to be expected, but that he and his family should be wary of a long-term risk.

“Only about 10% of people who go into cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive,” Bob said. “After 25 minutes, the chances of making a full recovery become even lower. Several medical doctors and nurses have told me I shouldn’t be alive, or that I should at least have mental or physical impairments. Two of them told me it was a miracle I’m alive and functioning.”

Despite the odds, just a few days after he was discharged from the hospital, Bob was back in church, and soon he returned to his job as a teacher.

Bob (right) with AJ and Deann. Photo from the awards presentation are courtesy of the Gardner-Webb University.

For their efforts to help save their father’s life, we awarded AJ and Deann with Red Cross Lifesaving Awards. Thanks to AJ and Deann, Bob is alive today.

Learn Lifesaving Skills

Visit redcross.org/take-a-class to sign up for a Red Cross training class that can help you prepare for everyday emergencies and save a life.