Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Life Saver

I've said this a million times, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record I'll say it again.  I absolutely love my husband.  There are a zillion reasons why, but today I'll share one specific reason.  He is, quite literally, a life saver.

Heading home from Christmas and News Years with the families in Oregon we had a layover in Houston.  We grabbed dinner and sat together chatting while watching an NFL game we cared nothing about.  About 45 minutes before we needed to head to our gate we decided to head that way anyway.  As we strolled down the hallway we suddenly heard people shouting ahead of us.  A man had just collapsed on the floor!

I tapped Tim's arm and pointed toward the man, "Tim, look, that guy just collapsed!!".  Tim, being the cool-headed one of the two of us, calmly took off his backpack and set it down, stripped off his coat and set it down, then walked assertively toward the scene of the incident.

And... I collected Tim's belongings and got out of the way.  Yup, I'm trained in CPR and First Aid, but somehow I just figured I'd better watch our stuff.  Obviously Tim's more of a Good Samaritan than I am.

Tim took control of the scene.  The guy was unresponsive, was not breathing and didn't have a pulse.  Tim started compressions.  Someone brought an AED from the wall and Tim and another guy got it hooked up.  When they took his shirt off we saw that he had a large scar on his chest - evidence of previous bypass surgery.  The AED advised a shock.  And shocked him.  His body shook and his arms and legs wiggled.  I felt like I was watching ER.

After 15 minutes, the Paramedics finally arrived and by that time the man had a pulse and sporadic breath!  He was still unconscious but there were signs of life which was encouraging.  Tim stayed on to help with the transition of care, giving all the information he knew about the incident, what he had done to help and his contact information.  And I stood back and secretly took photos with my cell phone.

Continental Airlines held the plane for us and we boarded still in a state of adrenalin rush.  Tim felt good about using the skills he had studied and I felt extremely proud to call him "mine".

But we still wanted to know what happened next.  The man was 64, of European descent and was traveling from Los Angeles.  But that's about all we knew.  He was traveling alone, so we imagined that if he regained consciousness he would do so without anyone by his side.  We wanted to know he was OK and with someone he loved.

Two weeks passed.  Then Tim got a call from a woman with a British accent.  She said she was the daughter of the man whose life Tim had saved.  This was the news we had been waiting for!  The doctors had told her that only 5% of people who experience this type of cardiac event survive if the event happens outside of a hospital.  But her father was one of the very lucky few.  He had woken up two days after the incident with no brain damage and was going to be completely fine!  They surgically inserted an automatic internal cardiac defibrillator (AICD) to help restart his heart in the event of a similar event in the future.  The woman said Tim's quick action saved her father's life.  

Pretty good reason to be proud of and love your man, huh?


Ashlie Van Vorous said...

awww! what a great guy you have! that is such a cool story. and i'm glad the guy is doing good now!

V^e said...


You both are awesome - I am choking back tears (from laughter) at your confessions of your quick-thinking and selfless actions!!!

Anonymous said...

That story brought tears to my eyes! Yes, you should be very thankful for Tim and proud of him. I would call this a God-incidence; all of the timing was just right, and He put just the right person there at just the right time to save that man's life. I'm happy that Tim is a "good Samaritan"!

Aunt Suzanne

Arlene Winn said...

How wonderful to know that quick and decisive action had such wonderful results. The hand of God! What a blessing to be a part of His work!

Amber said...

Whoa! Tim is a hero! I am certified to know what to do in that situation, but I pray to TBJ that I will never have to use it. I think any knowledge would fall out my ears in the stress!