Son & Medics Save Mother at Home

Posted by cocreator on June 06, 2014
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Ronda Stuart-Good hardly remembers the morning her teenage son saved her, pumping her chest to mimic the rhythm of her quiet heart.

Jesse Good the Saviour Ronda Stuart-Good the Survivor

Jesse Good the Saviour Ronda Stuart-Good the Survivor

She walked inside with the dog, unhooked it from the leash and sat down at the kitchen table.

That much she knows.

Doctors would later tell her that Jesse’s quick thinking on Feb. 15 saved both her life and her brain function.

“It’s OK to feel things,” his aunt, Lisa Stuart, says. “We’ve all shed a lot of tears this past month.”

When Jesse, 14, took a babysitting course 21/2 years ago and learned CPR, he never pictured what it would be like to do it for real. On his mother.

He remembers watching her slide out of the chair and onto the floor, a moment he talks about quietly, looking down. He called 911 and, at the dispatcher’s instruction, began chest compressions.

He describes the motions of his hands as though he’s talking about someone else.

“I just remember what happened,” he says. “But I can’t remember how I felt.”

He had steady hands but he knows his voice shook on the phone as the operator told him what to do.

Five minutes later, paramedics took over, using a defibrillator three times to restart the Cole Harbour woman’s heart.

Stuart-Good says she doesn’t remember much of what happened after that, letting her sister fill in the details.

The Cole Harbour mom is slight, frequently pushing dark hair out of a face that looks younger than 43. You’d never guess she had a heart attack a month ago.

Her profile stumped doctors as well; she’s fit, doesn’t smoke and has no history of heart disease in the family.

But she was near death when paramedics rushed her to Dartmouth General Hospital. Doctors lowered her body temperature and put her in an induced coma, which she awoke from a day later, foggy, but able to recognize her mother, her cousin and a video of her two sons.

Pride creeps into Stuart’s voice when she talks about her nephew. She’s been a Mountie for more than 20 years but has never had to use her first-aid training.

She’s hoping he’ll receive an award through the Red Cross for saving his mother’s life.

She’s hopeful, too, that sharing the family’s story might encourage other parents to make sure their children take first-aid training.

It’s been a hard month for the entire family. A cardiologist found scar tissue on Stuart-Good’s heart, likely the result of a virus or bacterial infection.

The organ became progressively weaker, she says, which is why she’s now got a small defibrillator implanted in her chest.

She’s not yet well enough to go back to work at Lawton’s, but things at home are slowly returning to normal, she says.

She hardly heard her sons when she first came home, but they’re getting rowdy again. The younger boy, Jayme, is eight.

She smiles.

“I’m so proud of my boys,” she says. “So proud.”

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Bystanders & Cop Save Young Mother in Car

Posted by cocreator on January 23, 2014
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On New Year’s Eve, Ashly Bohlman had a low-key dinner with her future in-laws and her 2-year-old daughter, Lillian.

Ashly Bohlman the Survivor

Ashly Bohlman the Survivor

She knows they ate crab legs, but only because they’d discussed it beforehand. Bohlman doesn’t remember what they talked about during the meal, or warming up her car when she was getting ready to leave the couple’s Andover home, or phoning her fiancé once she got on the road.

The 23-year-old’s mind “went into a fog,” or so she’s been told, just before she went into sudden cardiac arrest. At the time, she was driving on Hanson Boulevard in Andover, heading home to Champlin with Lillian in the back seat. Her car veered off the side of the road and into a snowbank.

She survived to tell the story, thanks in large part to the quick thinking of passersby. She hopes her experience will motivate people to learn CPR. “CPR really can save people’s lives,” she said. She is living proof.

As Bohlman’s car plunged into the snowbank, it made a crashing sound. That got the attention of brothers Joey and Rohan Murdock. They were down the street at a gas station with their mom, who had called them for help when her car broke down, Joey Murdock said.

After waiting about 30 seconds to see if anyone would get out of Bohland’s car, they drove over to check it out.

Murdock recognized the silver-colored Saturn. He’d never met Bohlman, but he had noticed her car in his neighbors’ driveway when he was on his way out the door. Bohlman had started the car, probably to warm it up, he said.

It was a casual observation that he never would have guessed would prove to be useful. “When I saw the car [in the snowbank], it clicked. I realized it must be hers,” he said.

The brothers, both of whom had had emergency medical training in the military, found Bohlman unconscious in the front seat. They banged on the window, but she didn’t even flinch. That’s when they knew they had to act fast.

They kicked out the rear window and grabbed Lillian. They bundled her up, and tucked her safely into Rohan’s truck. In the midst of everything, Rohan called 911.

Joey Murdock then held Bohlman’s head upright for a time. “I wasn’t sure if she had a neck injury,” he said.

As he did so, he squeezed her fingers to see if she’d respond.

Soon, a police officer and his wife arrived on the scene. By then, Bohlman no longer had a pulse, Murdock said.

He and the officer pulled her out of the car, laying her on a blanket on the ground. They performed CPR. The officer also tried using an automated external defibrillator (AED) on Bohlman, but to no avail, he said.

After an ambulance arrived and took Bohlman to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, the Murdocks led the officer to their neighbors’ house, to bring Lillian to safety.

By then, Murdock had gotten discouraged. “I was pretty down. I thought we waited too long. I didn’t think she made it,” he said.

A couple of days later, some good news arrived.

“My neighbor came by and told me that she’s alive,” he said. “I was so excited. It was emotional. I hoped and prayed for the best but had doubts.”

By the time Bohlman left the hospital on Jan. 9, she was able to talk, walk on her own and feed herself. “I was the talk of the hospital. Everyone was amazed at my recovery and how quickly I recovered. Most people don’t survive what I did,” she said.

People told her that she fought to live through the entire process. “I wanted to get out. I wanted to talk. I tried talking with a bunch of tubing in my throat,” she said.

Now, Bohlman is staying with her mom in Coon Rapids, while she recuperates. Despite the strides she’s made, she has limitations. For example, for the time being, she can’t lift anything more than 10 pounds. That includes Lillian.

“Lillian remembers that whole New Year’s night. She’ll say, ‘mommy has owies,’ ” and ‘broken window,’ ” she said.

“She knows to only hold my right hand and to be careful when she hugs me. She knows I can’t pick her up.”

For Bohlman, who is otherwise the picture of good health, the dramatic turn of events is a powerful reminder that life is short. “You have to appreciate what you have. I sure do. I get to watch my little girl grow up, which is what’s important to me right now,” she said.

That’s not all. “It has definitely brought me a lot closer to God. I’ve had my share of doubts. But it’s a complete miracle I’m even here,” she said.

She’s especially thankful to the Murdocks. “If it wasn’t for those boys having been there, I wouldn’t be here today.”

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Doctor & Restaurant Staff Save Mother of Two in Vehicle

Posted by cocreator on December 31, 2013
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A mother-of-two whose heart stopped as she was driving through a busy city centre was saved when a passer-by stepped in to give her CPR.

Joanne Durkin the Survivor

Joanne Durkin the Survivor

Joanne Durkin, 43, was driving through York City Centre when her heart stopped and she collapsed behind the wheel.

Staff from a nearby Turkish restaurant called Kapadokya saw the car roll to a stop and ran to the mother’s aid.

They then smashed a car window and pulled Mrs Durkin free from the vehicle.

A woman, believed to be from Liverpool who was Christmas shopping in the city, identified herself as a GP. She then performed heart massage until paramedics arrived.

Mrs Durkin said: ‘You really couldn’t make up what happened. It’s amazing that so many different factors came together that day to save my life.

‘I still feel tired, but I’m so thankful that everything is going to be okay. My guardian angel really must have been looking after me that day.’

Mrs Durkin has no recollection of the incident but she, husband Patrick, and sons Matthew, 18, and Daniel, 11, have thanked the heroic members of the public and the emergency services.

The mother was later diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome – an electrical disturbance to the heart and can cause death.

Mrs Durkin has been fitted with an implant with a built-in defibrillator which will restart her heart should this ever happen again, and she is on medication to help control her heart rate.

Mr Durkin, 51, said: ‘She was given a blast with the defibrillator and brought back round.

‘Her heart stopped again in the ambulance but they started her up again and got her to A&E. She was just so lucky that someone was there at the time to help her.

‘The car came to a stop with no damage. It’s miraculous really because obviously she just blacked out. She’s been unlucky, but there’s been so much luck involved it’s unbelievable.’

‘[Long QT Syndrome] can be classed as instant death syndrome which is quite a scary thing to think about.

‘Ten minutes later she would have been in the middle of nowhere on a much quieter road and it would have been a much different story.

‘She had just minutes to survive. It was just unbelieveable. She ran the marathon in October, she runs all over the place, she’s as fit as a fiddle.

‘I would have thought there would be more chance of Stonehenge falling over than Joanne falling over.’

Erdal Ozturkce, manager of Kapadokya, was one of the people who helped Joanne at the scene, and was amazed to find out she was well and at home for Christmas.

He said: ‘Her face changed colour when her heart stopped and we thought she was dead. I’m really very happy she’s okay, it’s really good to hear.

‘I’m really happy she’s alive, because we were really very upset. I didn’t know her at all, but she’s human and young, and it would be very sad for someone to die at Christmas time.’

The mother is now launching an appeal to thank the GP who helped to save her life when her heart stopped while she was behind the wheel.

Speaking from their family home today, Mr Durkin said: ‘We just want to say thank you to them. I just want to share our gratitude which is endless, because they saved Joanne’s life.

‘You can’t do anything better than that for a fellow human being.’

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Mum Saves 7 Year Old Son

Posted by cocreator on December 17, 2013
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The mum of a young boy who was brought back to life after having a sudden cardiac arrest has supported his primary school’s drive to buy a defibrillator.

Tracy Tyson the Saviour with son Jack-Charlie the Survivor

Tracy Tyson the Saviour with son Jack-Charlie the Survivor

Seven-year-old Jack-Charlie Tyson was eating his breakfast at his home in Rush Close, Stanstead Abbotts, when his heart suddenly stopped.

Mum Tracy said: “It was really traumatic.

“In a matter of seconds he had gone stiff. I thought he had choked.”

The 40-year-old said she performed CPR on Jack-Charlie but it was only when paramedics arrived that his heart was restarted with a defibrillator.

He was flown by the East Anglian Air Ambulance to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where he was on life-support for three days before waking up.

Jack-Charlie was then taken to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he had an operation to fit an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), which will restart his heart if it happens again.

“I wasn’t sure if he was going to survive,” said Tracy.

“It’s very rare for a child to come back. I’m blessed that he’s here with me now.

“It was such a sudden out-of-the-blue thing. It shows it can happen to any child.”

Now Tracy is supporting a drive by Jack-Charlie’s school, St Andrew’s C of E Primary School in Stanstead Abbotts, to bring the first defibrillator to the village.

The new machine would not be used by Jack-Charlie – who has since been diagnosed with the rare condition long QT syndrome – because of his ICD, but could save a child or adult’s life if they suffered a cardiac arrest.

Tracy said: “What happened to him could happen to any child.

“The defibrillator brought him back to life. Without that he wouldn’t be here now.”

The youngster is now back at school full time, starting back just before half-term.

Since Jack-Charlie’s cardiac arrest in August, free lessons in CPR have been given to parents at the school thanks to Sam Mackay, who runs KeepabeatUK First Aid Company.

Now the school is looking to raise the £1,100 needed to buy its own defibrillator through a series of fundraisers.

Headteacher Rosemary Woodall said: “What happened to Jack-Charlie has shaken the school community.

“It’s lovely to have him back in school.

“We always count ourselves as a school family.

“We have a very close relationship with the parents in our school.

“When something happens to one of the family, everybody gets together.”

Mrs Woodall said the school was hoping it would have raised enough money to buy the machine by Christmas.

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Husband Saves Wife with Newborn

Posted by cocreator on December 02, 2013
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A Mississauga man credits a CPR course he took in September with helping him save his wife when her heart stopped last week.

Brian Andrade said his wife Chantelle Lavallee collapsed on the evening of Nov. 20, immediately after putting their newborn son in his bassinet.

Lavallee started feeling dizzy and then fell back and hit her head on the ground. Andrade started CPR when he realized her airways were constricted and she was turning blue. He stopped only to call 911.

“I told them, ‘Please send somebody. My wife, she’s not breathing,” Andrade said from the Credit Valley Hospital.

When paramedics arrived minutes later, they used a defibrillator to revive Lavallee, who had gone into cardiac arrest.

“The doctor and the paramedics had said if [Andrade] hadn’t reacted and done what he had done, the outcome would not be the way it was, period,” she said.

“I would have been dead.”

Only weeks earlier, when Lavallee was still pregnant, the couple had taken a crash course in infant CPR, which included 10 minutes on techniques for adults.

It was a fundraiser for Jesse Arrigo whose mother used CPR to save him after he fell into a backyard pond in May 2012 when he was 10 months old. He went 55 minutes without oxygen and still needs treatment not covered by OHIP.

“I thank the whole world I took Jesse’s class,” Andrade said. “It was all because of Jesse. He was my inspiration.”

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