Florida Husband Collapsed

Cardiac arrest happens more than we may think. It is most likely to occur while at home and sadly only about 10 percent of them survive. Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone. You can be young, healthy, old or sickly. Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops due to electrical issues and the person stops breathing. When your heart stops pumping blood, your limbs and vital organs, including your brain, do not get the oxygen rich blood that it needs to function.

Learning CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) could be one of the most important things you do for your family and friends. Having an AED (automated external defibrillator) in your home and learning how to use one is also important. The AED is very simple to use and will let you know how to use it and when to use it.

Jennifer and Rich Chap know just how important it is to learn these life saving skills. During the summer of 2012 in Orlando, FL, what started out to be a normal work day for Jennifer ended in her saving her husband’s life. Jennifer was working from home when her cat Buddy started acting strangely as if he was trying to get her attention. She started looking around and found her unresponsive husband collapsed on the kitchen floor gasping for air. He began to take agonal breaths in his wife’s arms. Jennifer sprang to action and called 911 who helped instruct her how to perform CPR until help arrived. When help arrived they took over CPR and used the AED in order to restart Mr. Chap’s heart. Although they were able to get a heartbeat after using the AED, he still wasn’t breathing on his own. The EMT’s had to place an endotracheal tube and use an ambu bag to breathe for him. Since they were unable to feel a pulse at his wrist, they put Rich into therapeutic hypothermia to cool down the body in order to protect the brain. Essentially he was in an induced coma. The doctors were unsure of what his neurological status would be in the future as they were waking him from his coma. Doctors quickly found that answer when Rick’s brother was visiting the hospital and was joking around with Rick. Rick then lifted his arm, turned to his brother, and  used a specific finger to communicate with his brother. Since the incident, Rick is doing well. Jennifer has become an advocate for Sudden Cardiac Arrest awareness and survival


Karen Wasilewski