CPR training as a lifeguard from decades before proved BLS-CPR a life essential skill


CPR and BLS training a life essential skill
CPR and BLS training useful even decades after

Lynn and Kent Wiles spent the morning together doing errands. The Oregon couple went grocery shopping, to the bank, and to the hardware store for supplies.


They were lugging bags in from the car once they got home. While Kent went to grab the final few bags, Lynn lingered in the kitchen to put away a few perishables. She returned through the dining room after everything was in place to assist him with the next load.


On the dining room floor, Kent spotted his wife. He threw down his baggage and dashed over to her side. Lynn had been under a lot of stress at work, enough to trigger tightness in her chest and tingling in her arms and hands. Then he noticed her crossed feet and the fact that she wasn't moving.


Lynn's arm slumped to her side as he rolled her over. Her eyes were partly open, but she didn't move. She made a gurgling sound, that was called agonal breathing. Kent took her temperature. Nothing. Lynn's lips were turning blue. He took out his phone and put it on speaker mode to dial 911.


Kent first learned CPR as a lifeguard in college. He was utilizing it for the first time decades later. He began chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, then followed the 911 operator's instructions.


A neighbor who had detected some noise peered in the open front door just as he heard sirens in the distance. That neighbor happened to be a physician's assistant, so she ran in and took over CPR, giving Kent some much-needed energy.


When the paramedics came, they took over CPR and used an AED (automated external defibrillator) to give shocks.


Kent couldn't watch because he was too nervous and overwhelmed. He was in the kitchen with his neighbor when he heard an EMT yell, "We have a pulse!"


Kent was unable to ride in the ambulance because to COVID-19 restrictions, which occurred in July. He didn't see Lynn again until she was extremely sedated and intubated in intensive care. He massaged her arm and expressed his affection. He was then brought to the waiting room by nurses.


Kent was summoned to the conference room. He was relieved to find that Lynn's brain was working properly after asking her a few personal questions.


Lynn had a heart attack due to a 99 percent blockage in her left anterior descending artery, according to doctors. A cardiac arrest resulted from the heart attack. (A heart attack is simply a plumbing problem, whereas cardiac arrest is a malfunction of the heart's electrical system.) Doctors opened the artery with a stent.


Lynn was overjoyed to be permitted to leave her room on her third and final day in the hospital. The hospital was close to where the couple had previously lived.