Press "Enter" to skip to content

Inspirational tale about CPR is wake up call

Nothing shouts "inspirational piece" like people helping each other escape life-threatening situations. Just ask New York residents Kevin Stephan and Penny Brown.

Seven years ago, Kevin experienced a brush with death when he was hit with a baseball bat during his brother's Little League game. Mrs. Brown's spontaneous decision to give him CPR saved his life. These two met again weeks ago when Mrs. Brown choked at the restaurant Kevin happened to work at. Ever the gentleman,

Kevin returned the nurse's favor by performing the Heimlich Maneuver.

A tear inducing tale fit for a Hallmark seal of approval or at least a place in the up-teenth edition of Chicken Soup For the Soul, right? Not quite. While the overcurrents state the value of helping others, I see a disturbing question haunting this tale:

Why didn't anyone else in these places know CPR?

Mrs. Brown choked in the dining area of the restaurant, but none of the customers or waiters did anything. They went to the back of place, dragged out a poor schmuck who was washing dishes and had him rescue her because someone thought, "Hey, he's training to be a fireman, so he's probably good at saving people."

Likewise, not even the Little League coaches knew the most basic emergency care procedures even though baseball features an extensive use of wooden weapons and projectiles. The whole game was an accident waiting to happen, yet, when an emergency did occur, these people relied on a parent who happened to be a nurse.

What if that nurse wasn't in the audience? What if that dishwasher was not training to be a fireman? Would these people still be alive today? I think not.

This realization has me shaking in my undies. If I were cold-cocked by a fallen fixture in the middle of my literature class and couldn't breathe, how many classmates would know not to move my head but to slightly pull out my jaw for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation? Chances are I would end up as practice for local morticians, or have a boob-tube-taught "rescuer." I can already see this person standing over my writhing form.