At age 27, each could pass for the other. They are 5-foot-10, about 170 pounds, with dark hair and easy smiles. There are no scars or other giveaways to help tell them apart. Then there's the most important shared trait of all. Both their lives were saved by CPR.
With the 2015-16 school year now underway, it's exciting to note the growth of our push to make CPR instruction part of the high school curriculum across the nation. In other words, we want every state to have their version of "Gwyneth's Law," an effort that's been going on for many years.
A few days after the 2011 Bay to Breakers, her direct line at the hospital rang. "Do you remember that guy at the Bay to Breakers who died at the finish line?" a man said. "That was me." Stunned doesn't even begin to describe her reaction.
Hands-Only CPR keeps blood pumping through the heart when the heart isn't effectively pumping blood throughout the body and brain on its own. It can help revived the heart and lungs and potentially prevent severe brain damage or death.
It only takes a few minutes to learn the basics of CPR. So as you prepare to share the company of family and friends this holiday season, consider this: The best gift you could bring to any party is knowing how to save a life.
As I listen to the songs, I'm pushing my hands together to the tempo up and down at 100 beats per minute. Here's what I know from the ICU: practice, practice and practice. That way, if you ever have to use these skills, they'll be more automatic.
Our Hands-Only CPR campaign is increasing the survival of victims by making people aware of Hands-Only CPR as an effective choice, training them in the skill, and giving them the confidence to take action.
"Since witnessing the cardiac arrest that inspired me, I have not been around anyone who has needed CPR. But I know of two teenagers who have. Both learned it at school and ended up saving the life of one of their parents."
I think we all have a right to die the way we want. My biggest concern is whether many of our life-saving techniques just prolong a life of suffering. I have seen the agony that many times accompanies our heroic efforts to stem the force of Mother Nature.