A day at the beach brings back both happy and unpleasant memories for J.R. Bourne.
It is the location where a citizen of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, passed away and was revived by quick-thinking emergency personnel using an AED. When he fell and stopped breathing in June 2015, 40-year-old Bourne was playing soccer on the sand with his friend Luis.
A bystander started CPR right away, and a 911 call was made. Fortunately, there were lifeguards nearby on a Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue truck.
One of the first responders, lifeguard Gordon VanDusen, claimed, "We were driving down the beach about 10 a.m., putting our lifeguards out on towers when we heard calls for help." The lifeguards had just finished refresher training and were qualified in CPR and AED.
The lifeguards took over CPR in a matter of seconds. To shock Bourne's heart back into a regular beat, they utilized an AED. He was kept alive by the eight-person crew until an ambulance showed up.
A week later, to express his gratitude to some of the lifeguards who saved him, Bourne went back to the beach. Travis Blakeslee, Shane Obi, Sam Peters, Bourne, Dalton Bruce, Joe Walcutt, and Rob Emahiser.
Each year, more than 350,000 Americans have a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital. When the heart's electrical system is damaged, it can cause cardiac arrest, which is when the heart stops beating suddenly. Death can ensue in minutes if CPR is not given and an AED is not utilized to shock the heart.
At the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Bourne discovered that he was one of the 11% of patients who underwent emergency medical treatment and survived a heart attack.
His luck was a 30 today, according to a hospital doctor, according to Pam Bourne, the actor's wife.
Bourne underwent tests and operations during his six days in the hospital.
Because Bourne continued to have a significant chance of suffering another cardiac arrest, he was given an implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). His pulse rate is monitored by a pocket-watch-sized implanted device in his chest, which shocks him if it notices an unusual beat.
The couple has since received their CPR and AED certifications. Bourne joined the board of the American Red Cross Jacksonville Beach Volunteer Life Saving Corps, and they both volunteer for the American Heart Association.