On March 28, Holy Thursday, Father Joe was hosting a Seder Meal at St. Isidore's cafeteria prior to services. We were finishing up our meal and Father stated we better get started with the rest of the program so we could finish in time for mass. About that time I sensed for about three or four seconds that I may be fainting. I then blacked out.
I had just suffered a cardiac arrest. I was very blessed to have four very special angels around me when I collapsed: Dr. Zaruba, nurses Mary Agostine and Joan Lehr, and police officer Bryan Heusinkvelt who started CPR immediately and kept me viable for the next five to eight minutes until the rescue unit arrived and shocked my heart into beating again.
As I am told, I was clinically dead for that time, no pulse and not breathing. Had I not had that expertise in the room, oxygen would not have gotten to my brain, and the outcome would not have been so good.
Only 3 percent survive an event like this, not a good number to say the least. I do think many have never taken a CPR class or have let their certification lapse. I can say without a doubt that knowing CPR can save a life.
What a precious gift these four people gave me, my wife, children and grandchildren, not to mention other family and friends. I would like to challenge you to take a CPR and AED class if you never have, check to see if you are current on your certificate and if not, recertify. Thinking back it has been 40 years since I last took a CPR class. I am told there have been changes in the way CPR is administered.
The American Red Cross along with the Columbus Community Hospital give CPR classes on a regular basis, and I am sure there are others that give the class also. Please call and sign up for a class as I plan to do so in the very near future.
I would also like to thank the rescue unit, the Columbus Community Hospital staff, Life Net Air Medical Services, Nebraska Heart Institute and the many who were praying for me that night. Everyone was on their "A game" and I won Life's Lottery. Please join me in moving the survivor rate to 4, 5, 6, 7 percent and higher.