By: Tina Daniels, Account Specialist – American Red Cross Northern Ohio Blood Services Region
It was cloudy on March 19, 2016 and I was on vacation with a friend in Palm Beach Shores, Fla. We decided to have lunch at the Sail Fish Marina and walk along the beach. It began to rain so we took cover under a hotel parking lot canopy. While waiting for the rain to stop, a gentleman collapsed directly in front of us and had a grand mal seizure.
I had first taken a Red Cross CPR class back in 2002 and progressed on to become an EMT for the city of Hudson, Ohio. Everything suddenly came back to me and I felt confident enough to help. I had not used my lifesaving skills in awhile but somehow I remained calm and knew exactly what to do. I immediately called 911 and spoke to the dispatcher about the condition of the gentleman and told her I needed an ambulance. She asked for my exact location but I didn’t know the address so I handed my cell phone to the gentleman next to me. I asked the victim’s wife if he had ever had a seizure before and if he had any medical conditions. She explained that he had not had a seizure in years but was a diabetic. I rolled him onto his side, took his pulse, made sure his airway was clear, and supported his back with my thigh while he was having his seizure. At one point he had stopped breathing so I stimulated his back by rubbing it and he began to breathe again. Although I did not have to perform CPR, I felt confident that I would have been able to thanks to my Red Cross and EMT training. Thankfully, the Riviera Beach Paramedics arrived within a few minutes and transported him to the hospital.
I often think of him, and wonder how he is.