CPR Learned in School Saves Mom’s Life

This blog is authored by Hayley Meyer, a nursing assistant at the Medical University of South Carolina. Below is her story of how she and her family saved her mom, Pauline, during the scariest night of their lives.   

It was the night of November 15, 2016, nine days before Thanksgiving—a time when families gather to celebrate their blessings.

I was asleep when my dad burst into my room at 3:00 AM. He was panicked, and the tone of his voice has such an urgency that I immediately awoke.

Dad was yelling something about mom and to call 9-1-1. My heart started pounding. My hands shook. I wanted to know what was going on, so I followed dad back to my parents’ bedroom.

As I walked into their room, dad was next to mom performing CPR. Her body was blue and stiff. Suddenly, I felt like I wasn’t even there. It was like I was looking from the outside, and it wasn’t real. The voice on the phone was asking, “What is your emergency?” I couldn’t talk.

I handed the phone to my dad… and then instinct took over.

As my father spoke to 9-1-1, my body went on autopilot. I began performing Hands-Only CPR, to which I was first introduced during a high school emergency responder class. Throughout college, I maintained my training as part of my sports medicine studies. I never thought I’d actually need to use CPR.

Altogether, mom received a full 10 minutes of CPR before first responders arrived to take over. At the hospital, she was placed in an induced coma. My family clung to hope.

Five days later, my dad answered his phone to the most beautiful words he’d ever heard. A nurse had held up her phone so my mom could speak: “Honey, are you on your way?” I could barely understand my dad as he called me running through the hospital, shouting, “Mom’s awake!” I’ve never been so happy. Mom came home to us after nine days in the hospital on November 23rd—the day before Thanksgiving.

We still don’t know the exact cause of my mom’s cardiac arrest. Her only symptom was that she sat up in bed coughing, which is what had woken my dad at that hour. To this day I’m still in disbelief that it all happened as it did.

Since the incident, my family has been dedicated to spreading the word of CPR. We’ve worked with the American Heart Association to promote our local Heart Walk, and my mom has become a member of the Association’s Early Cardiovascular Care Committee.

My final message to everyone is this:

Don’t think you don’t need the training because you doubt you could save someone’s life. I never thought I would actually ever use CPR, and then I used it to save my own mom. It’s incredible that the impetus to save her life started with a one-day class I took when I was 17.

Learn CPR: not just one member of the family but every member. It’s that important.




From Nightmare to Miracle: A Son is Saved by Mother’s CPR

Stephanie Lentell says, “I want all my friends and family to take a Heartsaver course…it could save the life of your loved one.”

Stephanie Lentell is a mom of four living in Port Orchard, Washington. Knowing CPR became a matter of life or death when her son, Michael, collapsed from cardiac arrest. Here she recounts her story — and proudly shows off her Heartsaver course completion cards, which she wants all of her friends and family to have, too.

On November 26, 2017, I lived every parent’s nightmare. I was asleep in bed when I woke to the sound of my husband Brion’s voice in the hall; it was concerned and panicked. “Michael, come on buddy. Wake up.” I went out to check if everything was okay, only to see my husband holding the limp and unresponsive body of our four-year-old son.

Michael’s face was grey. He was taking a single breath every 10-15 seconds. He would not wake. Brion called 9-1-1, and I began CPR. I continued until EMS arrived and took over, moving at an incredible speed. Michael had no pulse. A shot of epinephrine was delivered to his heart, without effect. It took a shock from an AED to finally restore his heartbeat.

Within minutes, Michael was intubated and bagged, stabilized for transport, loaded into the ambulance and whisked to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. Brion and I looked on in a whirlwind of emotion, watching our little boy cling to life.

Michael had experienced cardiac arrest. He was only four, and his heart had stopped. At the hospital, he was placed on life support as the doctors looked for a cause. The next day, our Miracle Michael awoke, asking for “mommy” and “juice.” Incredibly, he was going to be OK.

EKG results finally gave the doctors a lead on Michael’s condition: Long QT Syndrome (LQTS). What this means, they explained, is that the time it takes for his heart to re-polarize after pumping is too long. The difference is milliseconds, but the effects can be fatal. As one of the Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndromes (SADS), the first symptoms of LQTS are often fainting and sudden death from cardiac arrest.

Michael spent 18 days in the hospital and underwent surgery to have an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) placed, which will shock his heart should it go into an arrhythmia.

Miracle Michael is home now, with a lifelong journey ahead of him. He will have to live with limitations other children won’t have, and our family will have to adjust to this new normal. But he is STILL HERE. This could have ended so differently.

CPR saved Michael’s life. CPR kept his heart pumping until EMS arrived and was able to resuscitate him.

I’m sharing our story in hopes to not only bring awareness of SADS, but to also bring awareness to the absolute necessity of being trained in CPR. I first learned CPR in a class in high school, and since November I have helped more than 50 of my family and friends learn CPR through the American Heart Association. I am now working with our local school board to schedule training for our public school teachers as well as completing a CPR Instructor course.

Every person needs to learn CPR. I was able to save my own son’s life because of it. You may never need it, but if the moment ever comes where you do it will mean everything.


100,000 and counting: Hands-Only CPR training kiosks hit milestone

This blog is authored by Danielle Cortes DeVito, who is a paramedic, National CPR instructor and a tireless advocate for CPR.

AHA announced that more than 100,000 people have been trained in Hands-Only CPR through its kiosks. The organization started installing them in 2016 primarily in select U.S. airports thanks to the national support of Anthem Foundation.

Danielle DeVito (R) shows Lourdes A. Rodriguez of Turnkey Training/Chicago Heartsave the Hands-Only CPR Training Kiosk at the kiosk launch at O’Hare International Airport on Feb. 24, 2016.

As a paramedic, I’ve seen firsthand how CPR performed by a bystander can help save the life of a cardiac arrest victim before I arrive at the scene to provide professional help. However, many Americans still don’t perform CPR because they don’t know how to perform the skill or they’re afraid they might hurt the person.

But through the American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR training kiosks, I’m encouraged by how these innovative devices are steadily creating a nation of lifesavers who can spring into action if they see a person suffer a cardiac emergency. This week, AHA announced that more than 100,000 people have been trained in Hands-Only CPR through its kiosks. The organization started installing them in 2016 primarily in select U.S. airports thanks to the national support of Anthem Foundation.

This training milestone of 100,000 is incredible and fills me with pride because I was at Chicago O’Hare International Airport where AHA formally launched the kiosk program in Feb. 2016. Since then, it’s been amazing to see how the program has expanded to 29 other locations throughout the U.S. and trained so many people who are now empowered to save a life.

I’ve used the interactive kiosk on many occasions. I can attest to how this device makes it easy to learn Hands-Only CPR and helps the public gain a comfort level with performing the skill. Each kiosk has a touch screen that shows a short instructional video, followed by a practice session and a 30-second test. With the help of a practice manikin, the kiosk gives precise training feedback about the depth and rate of compressions — factors that influence the effectiveness of CPR. The entire training takes about five minutes.

Cardiac arrests occur when the heart suddenly stops beating. Every second counts in this type of cardiac emergency, which is why bystander CPR is so critical until emergency responders arrive. Hands-Only CPR has two easy steps. First, call 9-1-1 and then, push hard and fast in the center of the chest until professional help arrives.

However, less than half of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive help from a bystander. Each year, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital, and about 90 percent die. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival, according to the AHA.

Consider this last statistic: about 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in homes. I encourage you to get trained in Hands-Only CPR because you’ll most likely be trying to save the life of someone you love or know if you’re called on to give CPR in an emergency. The kiosks make it easy to learn a life-saving skill. When people can perform chest compressions without the stress of an actual medical emergency, our community benefits. The kiosks help strengthen the chain of survival.


CPR Saved My Son: A Mother’s Story

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.

Justin with some of the friends who helped save his life when he went into cardiac arrest.

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 until first responders arrived.

The paramedics were quickly able to shock Justin’s heartbeat rhythm back to normal. But he suffered complications, and he was admitted to the hospital for acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by a collapsed lung. His body couldn’t oxygenate as it needed to, even with a ventilator. The doctors had to insert chest tubes to re-inflate his lungs and aid his breathing.

Justin and the neighbor who helped save his life, just prior to a community CPR training at the local fire department.

In total, Justin was in the hospital for 10 days, and he has now made a full recovery.

Since then, I’ve found myself changed as a parent. There is more worry now. This was such a freak incident that it feels like anything can happen to the kids. So, we’re doing what we can to be proactive.

Earlier this year, Justin took part in a community education event with our fire department teaching Hands-Only CPR to the public. At least 100 participants showed up, and Justin shared his story as the face of why CPR is so important. At a local university where I work as a nurse lecturer, I’ve volunteered to join the CPR and AED first aid training orientation for incoming freshman.

Justin (center, in blue t-shirt) participates in a community CPR training with the local fire department.

David and I feel very fortunate to still have our son with us. If the kids didn’t know to call 9-1-1, he wouldn’t be here. If our neighbor didn’t know CPR, Justin wouldn’t be here.

I encourage everyone to take the time to learn CPR. You could save a life – maybe the life of someone you love.

Cardiac arrest often comes without warning. Everything will be normal right up until the point it isn’t. You have to know what to do.

Interested in more information on Hands-Only CPR? Sign up for our new eNewsletter!


A Survivor’s Message of Hope

A Message for Others from Bruce Richardson

“You never know when you have heart disease. One of the first symptoms of heart disease is death. So, I challenge everyone to make sure that your physical heart is in good shape – live healthy and see your doctor – and also make sure that your ‘personal heart’ is in good shape. There are no do-overs, so always make sure your heart is in the right place.”

Bruce’s Story

“I was dead for 67 minutes. It’s a miracle that I’m here today.” Those are the words of Bruce Richardson, who survived a cardiac arrest in July 2016 thanks to the quick actions of his friends and the first responders who refused to give up.

Bruce is flanked by his friends Jack and Doug, who started CPR on Bruce. Immediate CPR can double or triple survival from cardiac arrest.

It was an early summer morning, a typical Saturday. Bruce woke as usual for his men’s prayer group at his community church.

“I had no symptoms whatsoever that there was any problem or that I was about to experience a life-changing event. It was a completely normal morning; I felt fine,” he shared. “I was visiting with friends before class began. Then, I passed out. What happened next I know from what others have told me.”

Bruce’s friend, Jack, had learned how to perform CPR in the U.S. military, and he quickly began chest compressions. Another friend, Doug, dialed 9-1-1 and the operator walked him through compressions until first responders arrived. The quick actions of Jack, Doug, and the 9-1-1 operator unquestionably saved Bruce’s life.

Once the ambulance arrived, the paramedics tried five times to restart Bruce’s heart with an AED. By this time, Bruce had been without a heartbeat for more than 30 minutes, often when time of death is called. On the phone with an emergency room doctor, one of the paramedics was instructed to try two AEDs simultaneously—a practice supported by emerging research. It worked; Bruce’s heart began to beat again, though he would suffer a second arrest on the way to the hospital where he would undergo emergency surgery.

Incredibly, he awoke the next day and was able to communicate. Despite early fears that he would suffer brain damage, Bruce made a full recovery and left the hospital after a week.

Spreading the Word

Since Bruce’s cardiac arrest, he has since been able to resume a normal life… with some differences. He now is a passionate CPR advocate. His church – where he suffered the arrest – has purchased two AEDs and trained staff and congregants in how to use them. Bruce has shared his story in the news, and last year he was a guest speaker at the Association’s Indianapolis Heart & Stroke Ball to encourage people to spread the message of CPR.

Attending the 2017 Indianapolis Heart & Stroke Ball, where Bruce was a guest speaker.

Finally, Bruce shared his story in a video now being used to promote American Heart Association Hands-Only CPR kiosks installed around the country.


Interested in trying out a Hands-Only CPR kiosk? Visit our kiosk landing page for more information, or check out our CPR Anytime page for at-home training kit options.


When Seconds Matter: CPR Saves a Life During an Otherwise Everyday Shopping Trip

It was a normal, quiet Sunday afternoon. Paul Minton had been to church and filled his car with gas, and he was in his way to meet his son for lunch when he opted to stop into Target for a few quick items. He recalls walking into the store… and then nothing. The rest of the day is gone, because Minton had collapsed in cardiac arrest. The events of that day, and his life, were suddenly in the hands of strangers.

“I don’t recall anything about the incident. But what I’m told is that I walked in and – as soon as I had crossed through the doors – I fell over. No warning or call for help; I just collapsed,” shares Minton. “People nearby circled around, but no one knew how to help. That’s when Riley jumped in and saved my life.”

Riley Hinman was a 16-year old who had happened to stop into Target for a quick errand. Fortunately for Paul, Riley had recently learned Hands-Only CPR in a babysitting class and knew what to do. She had a bystander call 9-1-1 and the store manager use the intercom system to radio for additional CPR help as she started chest compressions. As she worked, a fellow shopper ran to the scene—Dr. Tiffany Elliott, an emergency room trauma physician who had heard the manager’s call. Together, they worked to keep oxygenated blood circulating to Paul’s vital organs until first responders arrived.

Since the incident and his full recovery, Minton hasn’t taken his second chance for granted, jumping in with the As the Director of Operations for BC Clark Jewelers in Oklahoma City, he has used his position to raise awareness both at his company – which has hosted two staff CPR trainings to date – and among the public via a fundraiser where BC Clark matched $25,000 in donations to promote the Oklahoma American Heart Association’s CPR in Schools program.

“Kids don’t think twice before they take action,” explains Minton when asked about the importance of CPR in Schools. “As I understand it, in Oklahoma your chance of survival and recovery from an attack like mine is only 7%, whereas in a city like Seattle where public school students have learned CPR for a long time, your survival rate is more than 60%. It’s very important! In my case, you had adults standing around who didn’t know what to do. Riley had been trained, and she just went to work.

“If I could say one thing to Riley now? Well, thank you just doesn’t seem to be adequate. She was an angel to my rescue. Personally, I believe that God has a plan for me, and that plan is to help advance the message of CPR education and training. God may have some other things in mind too, but I know that’s partly why I’m still here today.”

Are you interested in hosting a Hands-Only CPR training in your community? Contact a Community CPR Manager in your area for more information.


Houston Program Aims to Close Gaps in Bystander Response to Cardiac Arrest

Community CPR training sponsored by Tomball performed at a local school.

The data on survival rates after cardiac arrest – nearly 90% do not make it – shows that we’re not doing enough to protect our loved ones, and for American Heart Association, the Tomball Regional Health Foundation (TRHF), and Association volunteer Ron Mullins, that isn’t good enough.

In 2015, TRHF sponsored the equipment and training so that high school students in five independent Texas school districts could be trained in CPR. Expanding on that program in 2017, TRHF awarded a grant to the Association to teach CPR to thousands of residents using the Association’s CPR Anytime kit.

In collaboration with local community partners such as schools, churches, fire departments and local health systems, the program will train

A generation of new lifesavers!

3,000 people between June 2017 and May 2018 in the greater Tomball, Magnolia and Waller area.  And, since the CPR Anytime kit is a multi-use product, the program projects that the participants themselves will train an additional 4,500 people in CPR for a total of 7,500 new lifesavers.

Many of the service and training areas are populated with a mix of low income and multi-cultural communities that suffer high rates of cardiovascular disease identified there. Recent research by Association volunteer Monique Starks, MD, found that survival after cardiac arrest was worse in predominantly black neighborhoods than white neighborhoods, and that bystanders in black neighborhoods were less likely to start CPR. Latinos specifically are 30 percent less likely to have bystander CPR performed on them in a cardiac emergency, making them less likely to survive.

TRHF theorized that these neighborhoods would benefit from having training in what to do in the event of a cardiac arrest. It also wanted to advance the Foundation’s mission: “To promote wellness and improve health status for all residents in our communities through programs that enhance access to health care, preventative care and health education.”

Vicki Clark, Foundation Board Chair, states: “If we can save ONE life, it is well worth the investment in this program, and we are grateful for the opportunity to sponsor this project in our community in partnership with the American Heart Association.”

AHA volunteer Ron Mullins instructs students as they practice CPR.

Mullins, who Association leadership calls “a great volunteer,” has conducted the bulk of the training.  “Our goal is to bring awareness to people – especially young people – where they ‘eat, play and pray,’” says Mullins. “High school students in Texas already receive CPR training at school, and the Tomball grant allows us to not only train adults but to reinforce what kids have learned in school.

“Refresher training for students is important so that they become very comfortable and confident in these skills,” Mullins continues. “This is critical because young people are the most likely to act in a crisis, as well as to take refresher courses later on and maintain CPR as a lifelong skill.”

For details on how to participate as an individual or to set up a training for a business or community organization, please contact [email protected].


New Wisconsin Bill Celebrated by Heart Advocates: 9-1-1 Dispatcher-Assisted CPR bill designed to help save lives of cardiac arrest victims

Surrounded by supporters, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (seated) signs Assembly Bill 654, mandating dispatcher-assisted CPR, into law on April 16.

On April 16, 2018, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law Assembly Bill 654, which instructs the state’s 9-1-1 dispatchers to provide CPR instructions over the phone. The bill was co-authored by State Senator Jerry Petrowski and State Representative Treig Pronschinske, and it received overwhelming bipartisan support. The new law aims to increase the survival rate of cardiac arrest victims by encouraging immediate bystander CPR until professional responders arrive on the scene.

Keidryn Nimsgern, a survivor from Milwaukee, recounts the moments surrounding her cardiac arrest:

“It was a normal day. My boyfriend, Jake, and I were in the car leaving downtown Madison when suddenly I felt like I was going to pass out. I grabbed Jake’s hand and told him what was happening, and then the world went black. What happened next saved my life.”

Though television and the movies would make it seem as though administration of CPR is the natural response of most bystanders, sadly that is not the case. Bystander-administered CPR rates in Wisconsin currently hover around 19%, even though studies show that when bystander CPR is administered the chances of a victim’s survival double or triple.

“Jake pulled the car over and called 9-1-1. He’d never taken CPR training before, so he was at a loss for what to do. The dispatcher walked him through it, step-by-step. First he laid me flat on the ground, and then she guided him through chest compressions to the beat of the Bee Gees’ ‘Stayin’ Alive.’ He delivered compressions for a full five minutes before police arrived and took over until the ambulance could get me to the hospital.”

For every minute that passes without CPR, a cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival drop by 10 percent. Because of this law, all 9-1-1 dispatchers in Wisconsin will now be trained to help callers begin delivery of CPR immediately to a cardiac arrest victim and continue until first responders arrive.

“CPR saved my life. The dispatcher that helped Jake through what to do saved my life. This law means so much because now everyone else will have that same support that Jake and I did. Now, potentially many more lives will be saved and loved ones kept together because of CPR.”

Stakeholders that supported this law include the American College of Cardiology Wisconsin Chapter, American Red Cross, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Project ADAM, Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin, Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin, Rural Wisconsin Heath Cooperative, SSM Health, Wisconsin APCO, Wisconsin EMS Association and Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association.

To learn more about this issue, please view this PSA series on the American Heart Association’s YouTube page.


Wife, son save Honolulu man by quickly starting Hands-Only CPR

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.



Hands-Only CPR, remembered from a video, saves man in hardware department

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

Floyd Flint, who saved someone’s life using CPR, refreshes his skills at a community training held at the house of the man whose life he saved.

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.”

If you are interested in holding a Hands-Only CPR training, please reach out to one of AHA’s Community CPR managers in your area. Then record it on our Community CPR tracker.