Two Hearts Saved
Many of you call me "The EHAC Lady" because I'm the one who trains all of the hospitals, attends your events and helps you deploy EHAC at your facility. To kick-off our new EHAC Stories section, I'd like to share my story. When I started working with Dr. Bahr over eight years ago, I never imagined that I would actually be involved in saving lives. Don't get me wrong, I believe in the education and I work at a lot of events to share EHAC, Hands-Only CPR and AEDs. But two years ago, it happened...
Be Alert At Health Fairs! I was working at a hospital event during Heart Month. It was the last event of the season and I was tired. For all of my Chest Pain Coordinators who are event warriors during Heart Month, I know you understand! We had a brisk event and as closing time approached, we were ready to pack it up. Then a lady and her husband walked towards our booth. She was hanging back. She finally gestured me to the end of the table and whispered her symptoms in my ear. "Do I need a doctor?"
Now, if you've read Dr. Bahr's articles, you know that he encourages people to pay attention. This woman was ready to leave and go back to her car. She told me she had the symptoms for 10 days, but she had not told her husband because she didn't want to worry him. As many of you know, this is a classic denial situation. My heart was pounding as I called over my CPC and then she silently gestured to the ED who was at the event.
Well, we calmly talked her into walking over to the Emergency Room and getting a few quick tests. Her husband was stunned, but he told her that their lunch plans didn't matter. He was the positive nudge we needed to get her help.
During my long drive home, my CPC called and told me that the lady was having an active heart attack but we had saved her life. Due to HIPPA, I will never know her name, but I do know I pulled off the highway and shed some tears.
Listen: How a Presentation Saved a Life
A professional friend called me regarding issues with a presentation. He had lost my number, but tracked me down via LinkedIn. We were playing catch-up when he asked me about what I was now doing with EHAC. I took him through the website, helped him with his presentation and we said our good-byes. Imagine my surprise when he called me three weeks later to tell me I had saved his life. He had been mowing when he started feeling weird. He took a break but couldn't feel better. He tried to start mowing again and gave up. I'll never forget the moment he said, "Jenn, I knew you would kill me if I died of a heart attack." He called 9-1-1, made it to the hospital, but thankfully they were able to open the blockage BEFORE he had a heart attack.
Dr. Bahr always tells me that I will never know when I will save a life and he's right. But I have learned to pay attention, to listen and to share EHAC even with people who may not be interested. Because you might be the one who's in the right place at the right time.