You can practice for an emergency, but it's never quite like the real thing. Just ask Robert Brown of Pleasant Grove.
Days after his health occupations class at Pleasant Grove High School participated in a mock emergency disaster drill with American Fork Hospital, Robert, 17, found himself in a real emergency.His mother, Norma, collapsed at home and appeared to be either choking or having a heart attack.
While his dad, Ray, called for emergency help, Robert began giving his mother CPR.
None of the other family members present knew CPR, so a neighbor, Lyle Lamoreaux, was called to assist Robert. Together they continued CPR until the Pleasant Grove Ambulance crew arrived.
Robert continued to give his mother oxygen while the emergency medical technicians worked to get her heart going and to stabilize her for transport to American Fork Hospital.
Thanks to Robert's quick thinking and levelheadedness, his mother is alive and well; in fact, she helped get the vote out for the election Tuesday.
"If it hadn't been for him, she wouldn't be here. I'm certain his quick reaction had a whole lot to do with her survival," said Ann Topham, an emergency room nurse at American Fork Hospital and a member of the Pleasant Grove Ambulance Service.
"We're just glad she's back," Robert said. "I didn't really think about what I was doing, I just did it."
Topham, who taught Robert first-aid skills in a driver's education class, was one of the ambulance crew members who helped revive Mrs. Brown.
First-aid classes are sponsored in high schools throughout Utah by the Utah Emergency Medical Training Council. Last year, 27,000 youths received first-aidinstruction.
Mrs. Brown spent several days at American Fork Hospital before being transferred to a Salt Lake hospital for additional treatment. Now back home, she's feeling great.
She said she sees a lot more of her son; he hates to leave her alone, so he brings his friends to their house.
"He's always been such a darn good kid," Mrs. Brown said.
Like many heroes, Robert is quick to give praise to others.
"I really want to say thanks to my neighbor, Lyle Lamoreaux, and for the training I had, and how quick the ambulance arrived," Robert said.
The rest of the Brown family plans to learn CPR so they are all prepared to deal with life-threatening emergencies.
Classes in CPR are taught on the third Saturday of the month at American Fork Hospital in the education center auditorium. The hospital also has speakers available to teach groups in the community CPR basics at no cost. And, CPR classes are scheduled periodically as a family night activity. For more information about these programs, call Vernita Nuttal at 763-3540.
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