OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It’s no secret that CPR saves lives. For one Oklahoma woman 17 years ago, it did.
“It can happen to any of us and that’s why we have to be ready,” Kathy Gold said.
If anyone knows the importance of CPR in a medical emergency, it’s Kathy Gold. She had to have it administered to her while she was traveling for work back in 2006.
“I’m traveling around the country focused on health, always eating right. I’m a registered dietitian by trade,” she said. “So, I consider myself very, very healthy.”
She had just gotten off a flight in Philadelphia. When she started talking to a friend of hers that she saw at the airport, Kathy collapsed.
“I literally dropped dead,” she said. “I fell over. No heartbeat, no respiration.”
Luckily in a TSA line nearby was a firefighter and doctor. They both jumped into action with the firefighter administering CPR for about 10 minutes.
“CPR basically is generating a pulse or squeezing that blood and pushing it through the cardiovascular system so that they can get blood circulating to your vital organs,” said David Shearer, a paramedic in Oklahoma City.
Shearer said the chances of survival for someone in cardiac arrest go down by about 10 percent for every minute that CPR isn’t being administered.
“It extends that window of opportunity to save somebody,” Shearer said.
For Kathy, that 10 minutes gave them time to find an AED or automated external defibrillator to jump start her heart. When they did, she was taken to a hospital and found out that an irregular heartbeat caused her heart to stop.
It still sticks in her mind 17 years later.
“There’s not a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t look at something and think, I really am not supposed to be here,” she said. “I should have died that day.”
Kathy added that it can happen to any of us, so she feels preparedness should be a priority.
“We have to be ready,” she said. “We need to know CPR.”
“CPR saves lives,” Shearer said.
Kathy now has a cardio defibrillator inside her body that she calls her guardian angel in case anything happens again.
June 1-7 is considered CPR week. For more information on CPR training, you can click here.
The American Heart Walk Association is hosting its annual OKC Heart and Stroke Walk on Saturday, June 3.
Check in is at 8:00 a.m. and the walk starts at 9:00 a.m.
Visit this link for more information.