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How A 14 Year Old Girl Saved Her Mothers Life

The signs of trouble started shortly after dinnertime.

That was when my mother started to have difficulty breathing & had to use her asthma medication.

The first call when out to the restaurant, where my sister had gone to dinner. No cell phones back then, it was 1977.

As things went from bad to worse, I placed another call to my sister - “Mom’s not doing so well. Can you come home?” I remember her saying they were just getting ready to leave & would be there shortly.

Just as my sister & brother in law walked in the door, my mother, who was on the couch in the living room, lost consciousness.

I remember thinking: ‘Thank God they’re here. They’ll know what to do.’

But I quickly realized as my sister went to the kitchen phone to call for help, my brother in law DID NOT know what to do & I had better do something.

Thanks to Mr. Earnest, my 5th grade teacher at Bass Lake Elementary School, I KNEW WHAT TO DO!

You see, 4 years earlier, Mr. Earnest had made us learn CPR!

It had been something they’d started teaching to the public & he decided his class would learn it! I don’t remember us practicing on mannequins but I do remember taking a written test! He called it “The Lifesaving A,B,C’s!”

So I asked my brother in law to help me move my mother to the floor & tried again to get her to respond. When she didn’t – I started to talk myself through the A,B,C’s.

Funny, I could remember the alphabets but NOT the numbers – I remembered there was enough oxygen in my breath so I just started breathing…….

I can’t tell you how long it took for the sheriffs to arrive – but when they did, they took over & my mom was transported to the hospital.

I often think about what would have happened if I’d never learned CPR and how my life would have been so different if Mr. Earnest had never taught us those lifesaving A,B,C’s.

When I had the chance to become an instructor – I jumped on it! I love being an AHA instructor! For me, it’s giving people that same opportunity to save a loved one’s life. I want them to know just what to do!

I came up with an analogy I use and I’d like to share it with you:

To get somewhere in a car you have to have 2 things present; 1) some gas in the gas tank, 2) a fuel pump that takes the gas & delivers it to the engine so it can keep running!

People are just like cars! We have gas tanks – they’re called “our lungs” and we have a fuel pump – called “our heart”. Together, they keep the engine – “our brain” getting all the gas it needs! Our gas is OXYGEN!

CPR is simply taking the place of what is missing to make sure there are no interruptions and our brain gets all the gas it needs!

Oh, and AED's are the “jumper cables”!

American Heart