Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CPR saves the Day

I just had one of those life defining moments I wanted to share with you. Still a little shaken, so it'll be brief.

This morning I was having a bagel and coffee at a local bagel stop in town when a group of cyclists rolled up for morning coffee. It's a local cycling club of retirees who take a little breakfast break each morning.

As I sat there, I noticed that one of them was on their hands and knees... a gentleman in his late 60's or early 70's. One of his fellow riders ran into the bagel shop yelling to call 911. All of a sudden, the gentleman slumped over onto his side.

I ran out of the shop as people stood around. Fortunately, a physician had pulled in to the parking lot to grab a bagel and quickly ran over the the cyclist. She assessed his condition and he was not breathing and had no pulse.

I quickly got down on my knees beside him and began giving chest compressions as she gave mouth to mouth. His eyes were slightly open and rolled back in his head and still showed no signs of life. I was counting my compressions, 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.... As she give 2 breaths every 15 or so, then reassessed his condition. After about 50 compressions, he gasped and started very labored breathing. He was alive. We rolled him to his side as paramedics arrived on the scene within 5 minutes to take over (pictured above).

Fortunately, the man had medical information with him. He had recently had a heart attack and several other life threatening conditions apparently. The EMT's whisked him away in the ambulance in minutes.

I had never been part of something like that... but was very glad to have gone through CPR training in the past and to be able to keep my wits during the situation. It was a bit of a blur while it was happening, but I remember his riding buddies standing around cheering him on , urging him to breath and 'come back' when he was non-responsive.

Afterwards, I was shaking -- and still am a little bit. I started to get choked up too , thinking about that poor guy and how close he was to not coming 'back'. It also reminded me how important it is to know CPR and to carry medical information with you as a cyclist. You never know what's going to happen out there.

Ugh, what a morning! It puts a new perspective on what it means to be healthy. I need to go for an easy ride now. Live every day to it's fullest.

Train safe,
Coach Troy


  1. Excuse me while I go home and hug my wife and daughter.

    Glad you were there to help.

  2. Coach Troy - i have yelled at you a lot during my 'trainer' sessions - complained and told you to stop pushing me so hard:) Now I am proud to feel like i know you. Thank you for your faithful help regarding this man today. Enjoy your ride and our health. I am 62 and really am thankful that i can still ride very hard and keep up with younger people.

  3. Wow, Troy. That is amazing. Although you have accomplished a lot of great things in your life, this tops them all.

  4. Wow. What an intense morning! I'm glad that you were able to help and that the gentleman was revived. Great work!

  5. what an incredible post! you really saved that man's life. what a great thing.

    we saw a bad car accident last thanksgiving and pulled over. one of the driver's was hurt and bleeding all over the ground. his head was all bustd open and my boyf sat with him, wrapped his head in his sweater and talked to the guy until the emt's got there.

    it makes me thankful to have my health and my life and not to take everything for granted.

  6. Coach Troy:

    Glad you were there, and glad you were trained. Enjoy that ride (I live in Phoenix, and man this weather is incredible---did 35 myself a few hours ago), be thankful for your health, and stay safe.


  7. I totally understand. Doing CPR until an ambulance arrives seems like a lifetime! I did 2 man CPR on a firefighter for 6 minutes and it felt like 6 hours.

    So glad you were there! Makes me thankful each day for my life.

  8. Wow wonderful that you were there and able to assist. You are so is important to make each day count and to be sure and find the time to do the things we are most passionate about.

  9. That man is lucky to have had people such as yourself around to help him. Good for you... and him!

    How does a cyclist carry their medical information with them? I'm new to cycling... and that's probably a good idea for me...