A Maine man was grocery shopping with his wife when an elderly man collapsed in the street in front of them. He is now sharing the story to encourage others to become CPR certified.
“I’ve had my cpr/ first responder certificates for several years now,” Nate Howard wrote on Facebook. “And I’m a FIRM believer that ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE should have theirs whether you think you’ll ever use the information or not, especially after the ordeal I was just thrown into.”
When the elderly man collapsed in the road, Howard knew something wasn’t right so he immediately pulled over and rushed to the stranger’s side. Another bystander also reacted and helped Howard try to find the man’s pulse.
Once they realized that they couldn’t find one, Howard immediately administered chest compressions until the paramedics arrived on the scene and were able to give further treatment.
The paramedics were able to stabilize the man and transport him to the nearest hospital.
“Police officer came over and told us he had a massive heart attack,” Howard wrote. “He then shook my hand and congratulated us for saving this complete stranger, and said had we not been there and acted as fast as we had that he would of absolutely not made it.”
“You never know what kind of situation might unfold at any moment, and simply knowing what to do, might be the difference between someone going home to their family or not.”
Howard also shared his story on Reddit where it quickly went viral, gaining over 51,000 upvotes in less than 24 hours, which helped connect the elderly man’s family with Howard.
He was able to go visit his new friend, Stephen, and make sure that he was still doing well.
The doctor told Howard that Stephen suffered from ventricular fibrillation, which the American Heart Association calls “the most serious cardiac rhythm disturbance.”
“Mine and another guys quick response to an emergency situation is why he’s here today, so again I urge anyone who reads this to learn how to do CPR,” Howard wrote. “Two hours of your time can make a lifetimes worth of difference to somebody else.”
The AHA says that there are two simple steps for Hands-Only CPR: call 911 and push the center of the chest at a tempo of around 100 beats per minute. Dr. Alson S. Inaba in Honolulu made the connection that the chorus of the Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive” can help you keep the tempo and save someone’s life.
To find CPR certification classes near you, visit the American Heart Association’s website.
Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, has reached out to Nate Howard for comment but has not yet received a response. We will update this article if and when we do.
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