For the start of CPR Week, we want to bring you the story of the Osaki family.

From left to right: Jared, Reid and Cindy Osaki

Jared and Cindy Osaki are like thousands of the people who save a life each year through Hands-Only CPR. And while few often know when their skills will be needed, these very special bystanders are amazed at how simple it can be to save someone’s life – and how quickly it all comes together.

For Jared and Cindy, it came together on a Sunday night in September 2017. Cindy found her 50-year-old husband Reid on the bed in cardiac arrest, the result of a massive heart attack.

Reid had gone to bed feeling fine, but Cindy suddenly noticed that her husband’s breath was labored. “Reid!” she shouted at him. She slapped him. She searched for a pulse. There was none.

“Jared!” she yelled across the hall to Jared, the couple’s 23-year-old son. “Jared, your dad’s not responsive!” Jared rushed into his parents’ bedroom. “Get him onto the floor”, Cindy told her son. “Fast.”  As someone who knows CPR, Cindy knew that compressions were more likely to work against a hard surface.

“He was making weird breathing sounds, kinda gurgling,” Jared remembered later. Terrified, he started compressions.

Cindy dialed 9-1-1, the first step in Hands-Only CPR. “I was frantic, my heart was racing a mile a minute,” Cindy said. She frantically shouted at Jared, “Press harder, faster!”

Medics arrived with an AED and shocked Reid seven times.

At the hospital, Cindy and Jared learned that Reid was still in danger. He was unresponsive until Wednesday, when nurses finally told her the words she longed to hear: “Your husband is responding.” Cindy raced into Reid’s room. “I said, ‘Reid, if you can hear me, this is Cindy, your wife,’ and then he squeezed my hand.”

Cindy and Jared cried. “We were overjoyed, crying tears of joy,” said Cindy. “We said, ‘we saved him! Good job!””

Reid has since made a full recovery after going to cardiac rehab. Cindy said she never would have imagined that she would use her CPR skills to save her husband. “I knew I had the skills, but I didn’t know I had it in me,” she said.

“It’s something really special to save your dad’s life,” Jared said. “I’m just glad I was there. I went to bed that night not thinking I would save his life. You’ll never know when you’ll need to know CPR.”

This CPR Week, consider learning Hands-Only CPR because the life you save could be someone you love. AHA offers two easy ways to do this:

  1. Watch a 90-second video that teaches the two steps of Hands-Only CPR.

  2. A CPR Anytime kit ($38.50) allows you to learn the basic lifesaving skills of CPR and choking relief in about 20 minutes from the comfort and privacy of your home or workplace. Plus, CPR Anytime is completely portable, so it is easy to share with family and friends.