Eagles Save the Day

At 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night, February 27, 2016, our 25-year-old son Daniel collapsed in the kitchen. My husband Al and I were not home, but three of Daniel’s friends were visiting. They were watching TV when his friend Blake Wilson heard a thump in the kitchen and found Daniel face down on the floor. Wilson yelled for the two other boys, Jon Evert and Blake Perez. Perez called 911, and with direction from the 911 operator, Evert began CPR. The 911 dispatcher estimated that Evert performed 400-600 chest compressions. After an ambulance ride to the hospital, Daniel was put on a ventilator and into a hypothermic state, and medically induced coma.

More than once, the doctors in the intensive care unit said that Daniel’s three friends saved his life. Later, we found out that all three young men are Eagle Scouts and one has taken the EMT training course. They told us that even though they knew CPR, they never thought they would need to use it, especially on a friend they love.

Daniel is now doing very well, but he had to have open-heart surgery because tests revealed that he had a rare congenital heart defect referred to as anomalous coronary that brought on the sudden cardiac arrest.

Every individual should be prepared for something like this. We just never know when our child, spouse, loved one, friend or a stranger may fall unconscious and require CPR. “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” was previously called “Sudden Cardiac Death” because the survival rate was nonexistent. But thanks to these young men as well as the dispatcher and first responders, Daniel is alive today.

These young men truly epitomize the Boy Scout motto — Be Prepared.

Our HeartFelt department highlights our readers’ experiences with heart disease from their own perspective. We’re always looking for contributions, so please send us yours. Before submitting, please review our Writer's Guidelines.

This information is provided as a resource to our readers. The tips, products or resources listed have not been reviewed or endorsed by the American Heart Association.

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