February is Heart Month, a time when we recognize that cardiovascular disease kills 2,200 Americans each day, and more than 900 of these die from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The American Heart Association trained more than 22 million people in CPR last year, but few ever think, “That could be me.”
Even the Association’s own Krisca Gould, a CPR in Schools manager promoting CPR education in schools at AHA’s Midwest affiliate, didn’t think she would ever find herself performing CPR outside of a classroom. So when that panicked call from her mother came in, Krisca found herself stunned as she raced to save her father’s life.
Krisca, thank you for sharing your story. Tell us what happened.
My father had a history of heart issues, including Type 2 diabetes. In November, he suffered cardiac arrest at the age of 76. Despite my advice to always call 9-1-1 first, my frightened mother called me. Thankfully, I was close and dashed over. I moved my dad to the floor, and then I performed chest compressions while my mom called 9-1-1. We worked until Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrived.
EMS and the hospital doctors stabilized my dad, and he woke-up and was coherent for a short time. Because of that, we had one last chance to be a family – to sing, laugh and say goodbye. If I hadn’t been there to […]