Ethan was born April 3, 1990, with a fairly rare combination of heart defects. He underwent his first surgery at the age of seven months. He had major corrective surgery at two-years-old. The repair was perfect and Ethan spent the next 10 years living a normal and extremely active boy's life.
On July 15, 2002, Ethan was playing at his best friend's house, where he had spent the night before. Spencer McBride, his brother Garrett, Ethan and another friend were taking turns doing flips on the trampoline. When it came to Ethan's third or fourth turn, he said he didn't feel so good, turned to walk away, said "I'm going blind," and passed out.
Ethan's buddies knew at once that something was seriously wrong and ran to get their mother. Janet McBride told the boys to call 9-1-1 as she went to Ethan's aid. While it had been many years since her last CPR class in college, she immediately knew what she had to do. With the encouragement and advice from the 9-1-1 operator on the portable phone, she was able to perform CPR on Ethan.
We live in a mountain community and the McBride house is six miles up a winding two-lane road. Fortunately, Evergreen Fire Department paramedic, Winston Merrill, also lives in the area. Winston was in his car heading for a meeting in Denver when he heard the emergency call. He quickly turned around and rushed the short distance to the McBride house. Winston had never used the AED that he carried in his car.
The Evergreen Rotary had purchased the unit for the fire department only three weeks before. Even so, Winston didn't hesitate to attach the unit to Ethan's chest and administer the shock that got his heart beating again. At about that same time the ambulance crew arrived and began the advanced medical care that Ethan needed. The EMS team prepared Ethan for a short ride down the road to an open area where the Flight for Life helicopter waited to fly him to Children's Hospital in Denver.