Last Thanksgiving Jeff Joseph was running in the 5K Turkey Trot in St. Paul, when he suddenly collapsed. His heart had stopped; he was dead. Quite fortunately, Bruce Kiecker, a nurse with St. Paul’s United Hospital, was also participating in the Turkey Trot. Bruce didn’t hesitate to intervene and started CPR on Jeff. Bruce continued hands-only CPR until the ambulance arrived 10 minutes later.
The willingness of random bystanders to perform CPR is crucial in saving a life. In fact, only 7 percent of people who have a sudden cardiac arrest survive. In Minnesota, the survival rate is more than double that, at 16 percent. Because of the quick action of Bruce, Jeff is alive and anxiously awaiting the birth of his first child, due later this month.
The executive director of the Twin Cities chapter of the American Heart Association made a special presentation to Bruce and Jeff at a recent AHA board meeting held at the PadillaCRT Minneapolis headquarters. AHA’s Barb Ducharme gave Jeff a CPR Anytime Kit, and Bruce received the CPR Save Award for his courage, composure and compassion.
But you don’t have to be a medical professional to help someone in cardiac arrest. How can we raise the survival percentage across the country? Check out this video to see the Hands-OnlyTM CPR approach in action.
As PR professionals, we’re used to communicating with our publics about a situation like this, but the reality is that as a civilian, any of us may one day be in Bruce’s shoes. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could have the same outcome?
For more information on how to be prepared, visit the AHA website.