When someone has a heart attack, CPR can save a life.
On Monday, Mercy San Juan reunited cardiac arrest survivors with those who used CPR to save their lives.
However the days of mouth to mouth are done. CPR is now all about compressions and to the beat of the BeeGees classic “Stayin’ Alive.”
Not only is the title of the song appropriate for the purpose of CPR the beat is easy to remember.
The catchy lesson came in handy for Kerry Gordon the day after Thanksgiving 2009 which is when he saw the car of Stan Hatfield on the 15th fairway of the Northridge Country Club.
When Gordon walked up to the car he saw Hatfield with his hands in his lap, open mouth, and not moving.
Gordon didn’t think twice.
“The door was locked and I went and grabbed a golf club and I bashed the side window,” Gordon recalled. “Checked no pulse, yanked him out and just started doing CPR.”
Gordon kept it up CPR for eight to 10 minutes, which is a long time.
“Once you start (CPR) you don’t stop,” said Gordon.
It worked; Hatfield survived.
To say he’s grateful would be an understatement.
“The really impressive part and I get a little teary is that (Gordon) didn’t stop,” said Hatfield. “After four or five minutes you figure, ‘This guy isn’t breathing. He has no pulse. This guy’s dead. I’ve done all I can do.’”
That’s not the only reason Hatfield’s thankful.
“Almost a year to the day after my heart surgery I walked my daughter down the aisle in England,” Hatfield said.
Hatfield is lucky, only 8 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside a hospital survive, but Gordon said it doesn’t have to be that way.
“(CPR’s) pretty easy to learn,” said Gordon, “I would encourage everybody to do it, because you just don’t know when (you’ll need it).”
If you would like to help save a life just sign up for a CPR class or you can sign up for the Heart Walk on Sept. 22 at William Land Park.