An Intersection of Need and Know-how

Some might call it a bizarre set of coincidences, while others would say it was divine intervention. Either way, the fact that a 22-month old girl survived cardiac arrest was a miracle directly attributable to the CPR training of a passerby.


The toddler was visiting with relatives in St. Catharine’s, Canada, when the crisis happened. An ear infection worsened and the little girl had a seizure that stopped her heart. Her uncle got on his cell phone and called 911, but with other family members panicking, he couldn’t hear the emergency operator. So Glen Curnock stepped outside to get away from the noise. That’s when fate – or God – intervened.


Loraine Gray was passing by and heard the panic in Curnock’s voice. Curious, she paused and heard the man say something about a child who wasn’t breathing. After Curnock ended the call, Gray asked if anyone was performing CPR on the baby. Curnock said no; none of the child’s relatives knew how. Loraine Gray did. She followed Curnock inside and began performing CPR on the toddler, privately thinking she might be too late because the girl’s lips were blue from lack of oxygen. But she persevered until paramedics arrived in a short time and took over. The little girl would be okay.


A few days later, Loraine Gray, who’d learned CPR at the YMCA where she works, was still a bit unnerved by events: “I’m still a little shook up and humbled by all this,” she said, “It was a shock but it turned out the way it was supposed to be.” No doubt that’s true, but the situation would have turned out very differently if Gray hadn’t happened by at just the right moment, if she hadn’t been trained in CPR and been willing to help.


Her story could be yours, mine or anyone’s and often is. Lives are saved daily by people who know CPR and act quickly in critical situations. These acts of heroism sometimes are unremarked by any but those who are directly involved. Consider, however, the good done by those whose lives have been saved, also unheralded. All made possible by the simple process of learning CPR. It is, as Loraine Gray observed, humbling.


Tom Sirmons
Carol / December 27, 2011

I have heard of several situations where a parent (even one trained in CPR) has frozen in their tracks, unable to help their child. Emergencies involving a child or infant are the most stressful. Don’t be ashamed if you freeze, be thankful for those around who care enough to learn the techniques and come to your rescue. Be a friend to the families around you. Learn CPR you never know when y9ou might need it. If not for YOUR family, do it for theirs.

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