Take the Time to Learn CPR – You Could Save a Life
When Allegan resident Janaya Norr and her fiancé Stephan signed up for Heartsaver First Aid with CPR/AED at Allegan General Hospital in 2011, they thought it would be a good skill to know. Never in a million years could they have imagined that a month after taking the class, they would be using it to help save a life of a stranger. However that is exactly what happened.
“Stephan and I were on vacation with his family visiting the Biltmore Estates in Ashville, North Carolina,” said Norr. ”We were walking through the garden when Stephan’s mom yells for us. She was ahead of us already in the parking lot and there was a man unresponsive in his car. She knew we had just taken CPR and thought we might be able to help.”
And help they did. Janaya and Stephan immediately began performing CPR.
“I remember our instructor Jennifer Hamman telling us not to look for a heartbeat and to immediately begin administering CPR,” said Norr.
They administered CPR on this stranger for twenty minutes until the ambulance arrived. They took turns giving compressions, while the other counted. While they were performing CPR, the gentleman regained consciousness twice and threw up a few times. And by the time the ambulance arrived, he had begun to regain some color in his face.
Thanks to Janaya and Stephan’s heroics, the EMT’s were able to get him breathing and stabilized without have to use an AED.
“The EMT told us that had we not arrived when we did and immediately started CPR, the gentleman would not have made it,” said Norr. “It was such an overwhelming sense of relief to know that we were able to help save someone’s life.”
For someone whose heartbeat or breathing has stopped, CPR can buy precious minutes. No matter what the cause—heart attack, blood loss, choking, drowning—the result can be brain damage or even death if CPR is not performed within a few minutes.
Allegan General Hospital is an American Heart Association (AHA) Authorized Provider of CPR and ECC Courses for the community. Throughout the year the hospital offers Basic Life Support and Heartsaver First Aid CPR/AED courses. Both classes train individuals in CPR. For more information on these classes visit allegangeneral.org or call the hospital’s Community Events Line at (269) 686-4231.
“I encourage everyone to make the time to learn CPR,” said Norr. “It truly is a gift. You never know whose life you might be able to help save. It could be someone young or old, a friend, loved one, or a complete stranger. “