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To Learn CPR or Not To Learn CPR, It IS A Serious Question

Updated on July 31, 2019
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ME has spent most of his retirement from service to the United States studying, thinking, and writing about the country he served.


A Day Late and A Breath Short

Why is this so often true? So sadly true? Now that this particular horse is out of the barn, my company is going to close the door by starting a CPR program for all our employees. What brought this decision about? A tragedy currently in progress that is overwhelming my partner and CEO of my company. On Wednesday, January 12, 2011, her 23 year old daughter, also an employee of our company, at home with her mother and sister, suffered a seizure, collapsed, stopped breathing and soon her heart stopped beating.

Her mother was right there, as was her sister who immediately called 911. Her mother went to see what was wrong with her prostrate daughter. She discovered her daughter was not breathing nor could she find a pulse. The sister and the mother did not know CPR ...

... and they were frantic. The mother did the best she could be giving mouth-to-mouth respiration and trying to follow the instructions her older daughter was passing along from the emergency operator. I can picture the scene, as I have been in their house many times, but I cannot imagine the panic and fear my partner and her older daughter must have been feeling even though I have known both for ten years. How helpless my partner must have felt not knowing what to do but knowing she could have.

They were fortunate is one respect in that a first responder showed up in six to eight minutes, I am told. He took over and began proper CPR. They were unfortunate in another respect because they lived 30 minutes from the nearest hospital so it was quite awhile before rescue was able to arrive. When they did, it took them three tries with the defibrillator to get the younger daughters heart started again and start moving her to a hospital.

No one knows yet what the prognosis is for this young woman. The doctors cannot find a cause and until this evening, Saturday, January 21, 2011, she was not showing very many signs of recovery. All that the doctors would say is that they see no physical damage to the brain and that the brain waves appear normal. However, there is major involuntary muscle movements of the arms and legs which have diminished over the last couple of days, she is not responding to commands yet, and until tonight her eyes are open a lot but recognition of the outside world seemed very limited.

Tonight, they had their first ray of hope. While her mother was combing her hair, her boyfriend was holding her hand. Apparently she was looking at him and then sort of recognized him and a broad smile creased her face; the first emotion she has shown in seven days. She looked around the room and saw her mother and her sister and smiled happily at both of them as well. I imagine everybody cried to.

I am driving up on Monday to help out some, her mom is a single mom, who is beat to death by now, and I have a very understanding wife.



Take A Class or Start A Company CPR Program

 I urge any reader of this hub to learn CPR.  It didn't strike me personally but it came as close as it can without having done so.  With a strong since of guilt at not having done it already, my other partner and I immediately decided to set up a company program to offer CPR training to all of our employees as part of our OSHA program.  If you own a company, you should consider doing the same thing; the life you could save could be your own child's.

I will provide several links below to hubs and other sites that have valuable technical information regarding CPR.


 IT IS Friday, January 28, 2011, a lot has happened in the intervening 14 days, from scary to surprisingly good.  Prior to arriving last Tuesday, our young woman was not lucid but eyes open once the sedatives had been withdrawn, arms and legs thrashing without coordination, parents and relatives up 24/7 trying to hold her still, the outlook not good.  On Monday, January 17, she is now in her own room still thrashing around, eyes open, but ventilator gone and only a feeding tube in her nose, prognosis still dire, then ... recognition and a smile!

On Tuesday, our lady was wheeled back into her room with a new feeding tube installed in her tummy, another step forward, where I first saw her.  I was happy and sad at the same time.  She looked good, she looked healthy given her circumstances, but her legs and her arms were still constantly moving and her head tuning side to side with eyes that saw you but really didn't.  I spent the day with her, helping to holds her hand so she wouldn't pull the feeding tube from her nose, it was a day or two before coming out.

On Wednesday, I entered her room to watch this amazing girl turn toward my sound, recognize me and SMILE!  What an amazing feeling from what I left the night before!  Arms still moving, left leg still moving, neither as much as before, head still turning but now the eyes are seeing, mouth is smiling, what a change.  Physical therapy brings in a chair and sits her up and her head stays up and more or less stops moving back and forth AND her extremities stop moving at all!

On Thursday, more progress ... she spoke, or rather whispered, at her mothers suggestion, "I love you Eddie", her half-brother that has been by her side since the beginning.  It didn't stop there either, with nose feeding tube gone, commands where given and followed, this was new, limbs moved voluntarily, involuntary movement almost ceasing, the first signs of real hope.

Today, Friday, January 28, 2011, 14 days after oxygen stopped flowing the brain of our struggling fighter and cells started dying, she is being moved to a rehabilitation facility.

© 2011 Scott Belford


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