Good Samaritans are everywhere. Marissa Iles, Lauren Works, Rhiannon Feltner and Sydney Reinhardt all rushed to help save Dennis King when his sudden cardiac arrest stopped traffic.
Sudden cardiac arrests don’t get talked about in the media very much, mostly because they’re so common.
More than 11 people die every day from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The sheer ubiquity of this situation, ironically, makes individual cases unnewsworthy.
A life saved, on the other hand, is news. Globally, less than one per cent survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
Often, these people are saved because a Good Samaritan saw it happen, and stepped in to help.
Another day, another life saved
Right now, someone somewhere in the world is helping to save a person experiencing an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
Here are some recent examples that made their local news.
Joe Pacaholski collapsed while shopping at his local Home Depot in Altamonte Springs. A fellow shopper started performing CPR and, after the cashier called for help, a nurse stepped in with an AED (automated external defibrillator).
Dennis King was driving when he had a sudden cardiac arrest. He was helped by four women who were held up in the traffic behind him. One by one, these four strangers – each fortuitously with medical training – rushed to assist when they realised what was happening. Their quick thinking and CPR kept Dennis alive long enough for emergency medical services to arrive.
Elizabeth Andrews was lucky her daughter, Hannah McLeod was visiting her Invercargill home when she did; on Hannah’s arrival, Elizabeth was unconscious on her front porch. After Hannah called emergency services, a GoodSAM volunteer turned up to help, having been prompted by the GoodSAM app a sudden cardiac arrest had occurred nearby.
Taylor Frost, 16, was cross country training after school when he collapsed due to sudden cardiac arrest. Having just completed AED training, staff were quick to recognise what was happening and rushed to apply defibrillation. Taylor was awake and responsive when emergency services arrived.
Dee Ann Holcomb ran her car into her mailbox after experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest while pulling out of her driveway. CPR-certified Caroline Keogh, who was babysitting at a house nearby, rushed to help Dee Ann’s husband keep her alive long enough for emergency services to arrive.
Stuart Johnstone was at home when his sudden cardiac arrest hit. Stuart’s son Wayne happened to be nearby, and immediately started CPR based on what he’d seen on TV, and following instructions from the emergency services operator. Wayne kept his dad alive for the 15 minutes it took for the ambulance to arrive, and apply defibrillation.