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Brian is a Laerdal employee. Brian is a survivor.

Brian is a Laerdal employee.  Brian is a survivor.   

Brian eats well, works out (he is also the owner of a gym no less) and doesn’t smoke.  The epitome of health.   

Unusually, both of Brian’s sons, Giuseppe and Martin were home for the evening.  And rather than go to bed early - as was his usual routine, Brian had decided to stay up late to watch TV.  Nobody can say for sure why each party deviated from their usual routines but thankfully they did… 

When Giuseppe found Brian convulsing and unresponsive on the sofa his first thought was that his father was having a nightmare.  He called for his mother who tried to wake Brian, when suddenly he went limp, and they could not detect a pulse.

Giuseppe and his brother, Martin (both 16 years old) sprang into action.  Giuseppe called 911 while Martin began CPR with guidance from the 911 operator.  4-5 minutes later, Police arrived, and an officer continued CPR until the EMTs arrived after 7-8 minutes.  They used a defibrillator, and a pulse was detected.  Brian was then rushed to hospital and on that journey his heart stopped yet again and the defibrillator was used again.

Now at the Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, Brian suffered a third cardiac arrest, which resulted in him being defibrillated a further four times before his heart started again.

The anguish his family experienced during these hours cannot be put into words.

Miraculously, Brian pulled through and woke two days later bearing a scar on his chest that hides a defibrillator implanted under his chest muscles that he will have for the rest of his life.

Brian has worked for Laerdal for 25 years and has learned a great deal about the ‘Chain of Survival’.  The Chain worked that night.  Bystander CPR from his son, dispatcher support, timely response from emergency responders and great hospital care saved Brian.  He says: 

“I owe my life to my two boys, my wife, and all the Police, EMT’s, doctors and nurses who not only saved my life, but gave me a chance to be just as good or better than I was before the heart attack.  I thank god every day for giving me these amazing people and for giving me a second chance in life.”

Saving a life is about human decisions.  Martin and Giuseppe had both received basic CPR training in school and had heightened awareness of the importance of acting fast after hearing many Laerdal stories from their father.  Martin and Giuseppe acted quickly and decisively.  This highlights the importance of bystander CPR. 

Don’t wait for help.  Be the help.