On May 11, 2020, I woke up in the middle of the night to my 34-year-old husband dying in our bed.
Of course, I didn’t know he was dying. There was no reason to assume that his perfectly healthy heart had suddenly stopped beating. I had never even heard of agonal breathing.
I would never have guessed he was having a sudden cardiac arrest.
All I knew was that he was making horrible sounds and wouldn’t wake up. As I dialed 9-1-1, I put my ear against his chest. It was too still, too silent.
The emergency dispatcher who took my call that night did know what was wrong, and she knew what to do. She knew that if a person is not breathing normally and is not responsive, that person needs cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Most importantly, she instructed me over the phone, guiding me in performing ten long minutes of CPR.
Eventually, paramedics arrived and shocked his heart back into its rhythm. He spent four days in an Intensive Care Unit, then came home with his body and mind intact. His outcome beat all the odds and was nothing short of a miracle.A 9-1-1 dispatcher helped me save my husband's life by telling me over the phone how to do CPR. Click To Tweet
Because of that dispatcher and telecommunicator-CPR, my two young children still have their father, I still have my partner and co-parent, a close-knit family still has their son and brother, and the medical community still has Dr. Glaucomflecken.
Her name is Lisa, and she is my hero.