COP Students Uses CPR SKills in Family Emergency
Sasha, an 11th grade student at Bullock Creek High School recently used the CPR skills that she learned in the Dow College Opportunity Program, (COP) in the real life emergency of a family member. Here is her story in her own words:
I canít recall the exact time that the call for help reached my room that Friday morning. I heard the panic filled scream of a family friend, Amanda, followed by the chaos of finding my grandfather unresponsive. I ran into the room and pushed my way to the scene. Many people crowded aroundÖone announced that she was trained in CPR and she started to step up to help. I was also certified in CPR and the use of an AED so shaking, I moved in to help assist her. Once she touched my grandpa she screamed and began to cry exclaiming, ďI canít, I canít! Heís dead, heís not breathing, I canít!Ē All of a sudden it hit me that I had to step up. There was no time to think it through, simply to act.
I barked out orders to my father to get my grandfather on his back on the ground and then scanned my grandfather's body while sitting on my knees. As I moved his arm to the side to begin compressions, blood smeared on my hand and made my insides squirm, but there was no time to mind that as I quickly got to work. Adrenaline punched through me. This wasnít like doing CPR on a training mannequin, this was real. I felt the popping and cracking that signified the sufficient depth of my compressions. The cracking resonated through me...it was something that I knew would likely haunt me for a long time to come. I kept up the compressions but when it came time to breath for him, in all honestly, I didnít think that I could do it. I looked at Amanda as I did my final few compressions of the first set. She came near his head and I instructed her how to tilt his head back, pinch his nose and breathe for him. Amanda became a real hero. I heard my mother talking on the phone and answering questions. As I continued CPR for several more minutes, I was so exhausted and in so much pain that I thought I might start crying, but I didnít have that luxury. Amanda started crying and mumbling to herself. I told her to pull herself together and breathe for my grandfather and, when I regained enough strength to speak with clarity, I gently encouraged her between breaths.
Thoughts flashed through my mindÖI kept thinking about the AED we didnít have, and how my grandfathers chances would have been significantly better if we had one. Nearly half way through, I was instructed to focus on compressions. I told Amanda to step back and that she had done well. I kept up my compressions although I desperately needed to stop; my body felt like fire and I was in so much pain. I remember thinking sarcastically ďand I thought the two minutes on a manikin was tiring!Ē. I was so focused on my task that I never saw the door open and the EMTís rush in until a woman took my place doing compressions. The EMTís did everything they could to save my grandfather that day, but unfortunately he died.
Iím proud of my decision to act and to do what I knew to do. Knowing that I was able to do something to try to help my grandfather makes that experience a little less painful to remember.