Everyone is a winner when people nearby act quickly and decisively to help victims of sudden cardiac arrest.
December 14, 2017
Illinois high school student Brendan Gould has been named winner of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation’s People Saving People Award for saving his father’s life with CPR. The announcement and award presentation took place at the Citizen CPR Foundation’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update conference on December 8 in New Orleans, LA.
On February 6, 2016, Brendan, then 16, had been speaking with his father, Tom Gould, at their home in Barrington, when Tom suddenly collapsed, became unresponsive and stopped breathing. Brendan immediately called 911 and fortunately, CenCom 911 dispatcher Jeff Callaghan was trained in giving CPR instructions. After discerning that Tom was in cardiac arrest, Callaghan coached Brendan in giving “hands-only” CPR, instructing him to pump hard and fast on Tom’s chest.
As the 911 call recording reveals, Brendan was remarkably calm in his efforts to resuscitate his father. “My dad’s lips are turning purple,” Brendan told the dispatcher on the recording. “What do I do?”
“I thought I was talking to an adult,” Callaghan said. “He was not frantic at all. He was amazing, no panicking.”
Brendan started CPR and also directed his younger sister Grace to remain downstairs and be on the lookout for first responders. Her actions turned out to be crucial, since she was able to flag down police officer Rita Kelly and get help more quickly. When Kelly arrived, she took over CPR. The Barrington Fire Department arrived minutes later and they shocked Tom with a defibrillator five times before his heart began to beat normally again.
Tom spent 11 days in the hospital, underwent therapeutic…