Chuck Greczkowski and his family will be making a heartfelt and potentially lifesaving presentation at a Lowe’s in Lisbon, Conn. next week.
They’re going to donate an AED and fully stocked first aid bag, courtesy of American Ambulance
Company, in honor of the employee who saved Chuck’s life with Hands-Only CPR when Chuck hit the floor last year at Lowe’s, in cardiac arrest.
It’s a story worth celebrating not only because the 72-year-old survived, but also because it shows the importance of starting Hands-Only CPR, even if the bystander may feel hesitant. And, it is an example of the profound effect Hands-Only CPR has not only on one person’s life but also on the entire community.
“It changed my life, and it changed my view on CPR,” said Mark Greczkowski, Chuck’s son and a paramedic. “I’ve done CPR on people dozens of times over the years. But now I know the difference it can make for someone to just get their hands on a person and to start those compressions. No one should hesitate.”
“I know now just how much it can change a life, how it changed my dad’s life,” Mark said, his voice trailing off. “How it saved my dad’s life.”
It all happened because a coworker, Floyd Flint, remembered what he’d seen on a publicly-available video about Hands-Only CPR. “If Floyd wasn’t there, the doctors said Dad wouldn’t be there,” Mark said.
Chuck, who works in the hardware department at Lowe’s in Lisbon, had just clocked out for lunch when he fell to the floor. Coworker Flint acted fast, flipping Chuck over.
“I’m a wiry little guy,” Chuck said, “So he could do that.” Then, Flint started Hands-Only CPR, in which a person delivers hard, fast compressions in the center of a person’s chest.
Mark and his mom, Ellie, left their work places to go the hospital. “I kinda felt like it wasn’t real,” said Ellie. “It was the longest thirty minutes of my life.”
Flint had been terrified he had harmed or even killed Chuck, Mark said. “When I finally talked to him, he was ecstatic. He cried. He couldn’t believe everything had turned out all right.”
Doctors think Chuck went into cardiac arrhythmia, caused by an imbalance in sodium levels. Chuck has no lasting medical effects, but he has everlasting gratitude.
The family has held Hands-Only CPR training classes at their home as well as places in the community. They will train people on May 15 at Lowe’s. And Chuck said he will keep training people as long as he has breath and energy to do so.
“The bad was well worth it,” said Chuck. “We all learned about CPR.”