A brutal dose of Holiday perspective

Joined Oct 28, 1999
While I was in line at Target yesterday, a woman collapsed a few feet from me. Somebody asked for a breathing mask, which I offered since getting one during CPR training at school. I ended up doing mouth-to-mouth for her while another did chest compressions, waiting for an ambulance ensnared in traffic. Sadly, the 44-year old female died despite our attempts.

I was able to speak to some 'support' folks that have guided me through this. Some friends that learned of what happened have been wonderful. I can't begin to explain the profound impact this has had on me. And, not surprisingly, the warmth of the support I have received. Wish she would have made it, though. Needless to say, perspective is everything.
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Wow Jim,

That's intense.

It does truly put things in perspective. You did all the right things.
My best to you & your family.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
wow. Makes you want to take stock & live each day like it's your last.....

good reminder that CPR can potentially save a life, I got a free class at our local fire dept, one on one with a paramedic.....took about 1.5 hours for the refresher.

Jim, big cyber hug.
Joined Aug 25, 2009

What a sad experience.
Reading this brought back memories for me.
Life is precious, every minute is precious. We can have all the skills but nothing prepares us for the worse.
CPR is a great thing to know.
All the best to you and your family.
Joined Aug 15, 2004
Without being there, I'll hazard a guess based on statistics. Sudden Cardiac Arrest. About 35% of people that die because of their heart die suddenly without warning. This is also known as Sudden Cardiac Death (SCA, SCD).

A friend of a friend that we both grew up with, was walking down the aisle at work on a Monday morning, some years ago. He collapsed instantly and was dead before he hit the floor. He was 42.

Since I work in pacing leads, I've taken several courses in CRM (Cardiac Rhythm Management). Kind of scary stuff to read and learn about. We have simulators that produce paper tape readouts showing the different brady, tachy, and all sorts of arrythmias that can occur.

Joined Aug 29, 2000
Jim, because I know you I can say she was fortunate to have you with her in her last moments.

May she rest in peace.
Joined May 29, 2006
Jim you did all you could and should be commended. I know this sounds nuts but please have yourself tested for any infectious diseases after haveing done mouth to mouth for your own protection. Have a Merry EJB
Joined Feb 24, 2009
You and this lady's family are in my prayers.
It is reassuring there are people like you still left in this world.
Pam Grant
Joined Nov 6, 2004
Hi Jim,

It can sure be a bit unsettling to have a life pass unexpectedly in front of you. I've had a good number of people pass while I am at work. I have said a prayer for each that has passed and those that were in critical condition.

There may be a few factors that can help a persons chance of survival...and it all starts with early CPR. What a nice thought it could be if we were all afforded the chance this young lady had with you standing there.

Everyone could take away a different message from one given situation...and that's really fine. We're all in a different place in life. On a cloudy rainy day with nothing to look forward to... look at some clouds, or a tree, or a child's smile. On even the worst day out there I look at my boys sad face and ask him if there were ever a better day to be alive.

There is much to be thankful for in life...and with that there is much to be thankful for in death. It's not easy, it's seldom ever easy. But look at the way a perfect stranger has effected your life, and you hers (and her family). You cared enough to do something that you felt was the right thing. My prayers are also with you.

We do affect other people, even those that we don't know. Hug your family members, smile at a stranger, bring a shopping cart to the corral for someone on the way into a store. That person standing next to you might just need a smile from someone, they could have just lost a family member.

God bless
Joined Sep 16, 2009
It takes an incident like that to bring home how fragile life is and how aware of our own mortality we should be.
I had my 'incident' today as was with my very close friend when he was told he had one of the more aggressive forms of prostate cancer, and if it's spread to the lymph nodes, he's toast...
Not much you can say after that, but don't want to end this on a downer, so will think positive and wish you all the best.
Joined Oct 28, 1999
I really appreciate everybody's kind words. I keep replaying it in my head and am having some difficulty sleeping. Think it is probably time to go talk with somebody.

Again, thanks for letting me share and for all the kindness.
Joined Aug 18, 2007
Hi Jim,
After doing Training, I've always been terrified that i'd be called upon to perform CPR ...And what if I get it wrong... And what if I cant save the person i'm supposed to be helping.

Please dont beat yourself up that the person died. Instead, thank whatever god you beleive in that you were there to give them a chance.

total Koudos to you Jim, for doing what most folk would have walked past.
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