This blog is authored by Stacey Hittle, a hospital Medical Intensive Care Unit and Critical Care registered nurse. Even though she is familiar with CPR, she never expected to learn about its value in such a personal way. Below is her story.
It was February 24, 2017, and my husband, David, and I were both at work. It was a day like any other. Our 15-year-old son, Justin, was at home with our other kids and a friend. The kids were in the backyard playing with a lacrosse ball. Completely normal.
What happened next was, in essence, a “perfect storm.” It turns out that Justin suffered commotio cordis, or cardiac arrest caused by a blunt impact to the chest. It is exceedingly rare, with only about 10 to 20 cases a year. It was almost always fatal until recently, when resuscitation has worked in up to one-third of cases. Essentially, my son’s heart just stopped. No pulse, no heartbeat. Nothing.
The chances of this happening are less than those of being struck by lightning.
Thankfully, the other children acted immediately instead of freezing in fear. His friend called 9-1-1 while my daughter called my husband. That second call proved fateful, as my husband was able to get in touch with a neighbor who ran over and started CPR. That CPR kept blood circulating to Justin’s vital organs […]