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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Family Save Man at Home

Posted by cocreator on February 22, 2014
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While on a business trip in January, Brigette Bell was eating dinner out when she saw a woman crumple to the floor in the dining room. A table conversation about CPR ensued.

Brigette Bell & Harry the Saviours with Eric Bell the Survivor

Brigette Bell & Harry the Saviours with Eric Bell the Survivor

“I remember someone saying, ‘No mouth-to-mouth. You just get on their chest and you don’t stop compressions,’” Brigette said.

She didn’t know how important that advice would be just one week later, when she and her teenage son would save her husband’s life with Hands-Only CPR.

Eric Bell, 50, a commercial realtor and father of four, is in good physical shape with normal blood pressure. Though his cholesterol level tends to run high, he has no family history of heart disease and swims regularly.

However, on January 13, 2014, a heart attack left him unconscious in the foyer of his Elmhurst home. He swam earlier that day, and felt some tightness in his chest and slight weakness in his arms that night.

“I just thought I was out of shape,” Eric said.

Just before 10 p.m. that night, Eric said he started to feel “different.” He told Brigette he wanted to go to the hospital. The last thing Eric remembers from that day is walking down the stairs.

Eric had a blockage in one of the arteries in his heart, said Anand Ramanathan, MD, a cardiologist at Edward Heart Hospital and Midwest Heart-Advocate Medical Group. Dr. Ramanathan was on call the night Eric was rushed to Elmhurst Memorial Hospital.

At some point during the day of the heart attack, the tissue in his artery ruptured. Eric’s blood formed a clot around some plaque that broke loose, and the clot likely blocked Eric’s artery, Dr. Ramanathan said. His heart stopped. Immediately after Eric fell, Brigette and the couple’s son, Harry, rolled Eric onto his back. Harry, who had learned CPR in school, began chest compressions.

“I was a little freaked out to see him face-first on the ground,” said Harry, 17, a high school junior. “I wasn’t 100 percent sure what to do. Then everything kicked in.”

Brigette dialed 911. “It’s very hard to keep your composure to dial three digits,” she said.

Harry continued compressions for about five minutes, then indicated he was losing strength. Brigette took over and Harry grabbed the phone. The 911 dispatcher counted out the compressions.

“I thought we were failing miserably,” Brigette said. She watched her husband turn blue. “I was starting to panic,” she said. “As a mother and a wife, I looked up at my kids and I thought, ‘They cannot lose their father.’ I thought, ‘I don’t want to leave anything on the table. I’m going to pump until I have nothing left.’”

But Brigette and Harry were not failing. The compressions they administered kept Eric’s blood moving, delivering life-saving oxygen to his brain. Within minutes, an emergency crew arrived and started Eric’s heart with a defibrillator. They rushed him to Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, where Dr. Ramanathan performed emergency surgery to insert a stent.

Without the Hands-Only CPR he received, Eric would likely have died, according to Dr. Ramanathan.

“The CPR kept him alive until help got there,” Dr. Ramanathan said. “The hospital intervention was after the fact, frankly. The main reason he’s alive today is because of the CPR he received at home.”

Eric recovered from the incident with no brain or heart muscle damage, Dr. Ramanathan added.

“He’s made a full recovery,” said Lawrence Barr, MD, a cardiologist at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital who has followed up on Eric’s care. “His heart muscle looks normal. I think the moral of the story is: people need to learn CPR. Just plain old CPR.”

Eric’s heart attack has motivated Brigette and Eric to adopt a healthier lifestyle as a family, moving toward a more plant-based diet and keeping their cholesterol in check.

“We all think we’re invincible,” Eric said, who added that diet and exercise alone weren’t enough to prevent his heart attack. If you need medication to keep your heart stats in check, take it, he said. “I think you’ve got to do everything.”

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Cop & Family Save Young Man at Home, Dad Discovers Same Heart Condition

Posted by cocreator on December 19, 2013
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The Ellsworth family was relaxing at their home near Rush Lake Feb. 16 when the unthinkable happened: Andy Ellsworth, then 23 years old and in good physical condition, had a sudden cardiac arrest.

Joann & Ken Ellsworth the Saviours

Joann & Ken Ellsworth the Saviours

Joann Ellsworth, Andy’s mom, said the last thing her son said to her before collapsing was that he “didn’t feel good.”

“We told him to hit the toilet, and he did that ‘last breath before death’ thing,” Joann Ellsworth said. “My son Charles knew right away something was wrong, and Ken (her husband) and Charles started CPR right away and got on the phone to 911.”

Fortunately for the Ellsworths, Chisago County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ryan Edmonds was responding to a call on the other side of Rush Lake when the call from dispatch went out to emergency responders.

FAC logo

Edmonds was first on the scene within minutes of the 911 call, and in his squad he had a device that proved integral to saving Andy Ellsworth’s life: an automated external defibrillator.

Although he had never used the AED on a person before, Edmonds had been trained on how to use the device, and he administered a shock with it that restarted Andy Ellsworth’s heart.

An ambulance from Cambridge Medical Center then arrived and transported Andy Ellsworth to the hospital; he was airlifted from the center to Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis for more treatment.

He spent three days in a medically induced coma, but he eventually fully recovered from the cardiac arrest.

Andy Ellsworth now has a defibrillator under the skin on his chest that will shock his heart if it stops again.

Due to Andy Ellsworth having a heart attack at such a young age, doctors suggested the whole family get tested for the genetic heart condition he has: arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy.

Ken Ellsworth tested positive for the condition, and he, like his son, didn’t have an inkling that he had a heart condition. Also like his son, Ken Ellsworth had an internal defibrillator implanted.

That turned out to be a good decision; the device likely saved his life less than two weeks ago.

On Dec. 7, Ken Ellsworth was awake before the rest of his family, and he wasn’t feeling very well.

When he was in the garage of his home, he was hit with a powerful shock that brought him to his knees.

At first, he didn’t know what was going on, and then the second shock hit and the reality of what was happening sunk in: his heart was beating irregularly, and the internal defibrillator was delivering shocks to get it back in rhythm.

Ken Ellsworth ended up going to the hospital following the incident, but the device had done what it was supposed to do — it saved his life.

If his son hadn’t had a heart attack less than a year prior, Ken Ellsworth would have likely died that day.

“You know, Andy thanked me for helping save his life in February,” he said. “I called him up on Saturday and thanked him for saving mine.”

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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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Mother Save One Year Old One from Choking

Posted by cocreator on November 26, 2013
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WHEN Kristy Arnold’s one-year-old son Luca stopped breathing after choking on a biscuit, she had just seconds to act.

Kristy Arnold with Son Luca

Kristy Arnold with Son Luca

Springing into action, Ms Arnold used the skills learnt in a CPR course to save her little boy’s life.

But only an estimated 50 per cent of parents have had the CPR training necessary to know how to act decisively in a life-threatening situation.

Ms Arnold, who took her life saving class while 38 weeks pregnant, believes all parents should undertake the 2.5 hours of training.

“Luca was blue in the face and he wasn’t breathing. Three minutes down the road to the hospital is a long time when you aren’t breathing,” she said.

“I knew to do a backblow – which had to be quite hard – and in my eyes it saved a real emergency happening.”

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