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"Everyone needs to know CPR." - recalls a woman who saved a stranger after having cardiac arrest

Stranger performs CPR
Stranger performs CPR after woman suffers cardiac arrest

Liz Young heard a woman calling out for someone who knew CPR as she was looking for landscaping.

She stated that she immediately assumed "there must be someone else, a doctor or a nurse." Then I understood that I was the one. I must leave. I am familiar with CPR, "asserted Young, a Jackson, Mississippi-based American Heart Association youth market director and CPR proponent. Debbie Lundstrom, 59, was lying on the ground when Young saw her running through the garden center.

Just before she passed out, Lundstrom had complained to her husband Richard that "everything was flickering." Her eyes were open but not focused, and her skin was beginning to turn blue. She was slouched on the ground. He was desperately trying to perform CPR.

When Young arrived at the pair, she immediately began performing Hands-Only CPR, pushing quickly and forcefully on the woman's chest in the middle, as she had taught many others to do.

After a minute or so, Lundstrom gulped for oxygen, "which seemed like forever," Young recalled. Young said, "I know some people still need CPR even though they're gasping."

Lundstrom began to gurgle, breathe again, and attempt to stand up. Paramedics quickly arrived and took over after that. She was then taken to the hospital by them.

Doctors informed the couple that they were unaware of what caused the collapse, despite Lundstrom's claims that she had been dealing with low calcium for a long time.

Low calcium can interfere with a normal heartbeat, sometimes causing the heart to abruptly stop or beat so slowly that it can't adequately circulate blood throughout the body, even if it can be difficult to determine the reason for a collapse.

Young realizes as she looks back that, out of the about 100 people present, no one else stepped forward to offer assistance. She shouted to bystanders, still trembling after her resuscitation effort, "Everyone needs to know CPR."

According to an online study conducted by the AHA in 2014, only one-third of Americans are comfortable performing CPR. Young claimed that she has first-hand knowledge of how much more public education is required by the AHA.

Young was a member of a committee that helped pass a state law requiring Hands-Only CPR training for high school students before they can graduate. She is aware that teaching CPR to high school kids increases the number of potential rescuers in the neighborhood.

Young said, "I've been so proud that everything we've shared truly works."

Lundstrom is appreciative that Young was there to assist in saving her life even though she doesn't recall the incident.

She added that Liz is a special person. "I could never express my gratitude to her sufficiently."

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