Good Samaritan helps revive stranger with CPR

Red Bank, SC (Paul Kirby) Last weekend, Kristina Verderame was on the way home from spending the day with friends at the zoo. She was tired but had some painting to do in a living room at home. As she drove, her mind was on anything else but making a huge difference in the life of a stranger.

Kristina was traveling down Two Notch Road in Red Bank. When she got to the intersection of Cedarcrest Drive, she stopped to wait to make a right turn. She glanced across the intersection and noticed a man and woman on a motorcycle. They were also stopped at the light. Suddenly, and without cause, the woman slumped from her seat, off the bike, and to the ground. Honestly, Kristina thought the woman might be drunk. She made her turn but continued glancing in her mirror to see if the woman had gotten up; she wasn’t moving at all!

As a former EMT, Kristina couldn’t just drive on, some may have. She pulled over, grabbed her stethoscope, blood-pressure cuff, and finger sized pulse oximeter, and ran back to where the woman lay in the road. Kristina placed the pulse meter on the woman’s finger and began to ask her questions. She seemed to be confused but was conscious. Suddenly, Kristina noticed the woman’s pulse and oxygen level dropping quickly. Eventually, the meter showed no pulse, the woman dropped into unconsciousness.

Another man had stopped his car and was kneeling at the woman’s head. Kristina felt for a pulse in the woman’s wrist but couldn’t find one. She asked the man to check a pulse in the woman’s neck; he couldn’t find one. Kristina felt for breathing from the woman’s mouth and couldn’t feel that. She felt her chest, but that wasn’t rising either. Immediately, Kristina and the man began to do CPR.

By this time a crowd had gathered around the pair and the woman. Some were watching and praying, one directed traffic, and yet another was dialing 911. Kristina did compressions on the woman’s chest while the man performed rescue breathing. Just as the pair were about to start their second cycle, the woman’s eyes began to flutter, and she came around. Kristina rolled the woman on her side, she vomited slightly, and went into a small seizure. In just a moment, the woman looked at Kristina and asked her what had happened. It was at about this time that a fire truck from the county pulled up, followed quickly by an ambulance. The woman was quickly loaded into the EMS unit and whisked away to the hospital.

After she was taken away, Kristina spoke with the motorcyclist. He told her that his friend had a previous heart condition and carried a vial of Nitroglycerin in her pocket. He and the small crowd were both excited and elated that Kristina and the other man had cared enough to stop and help.Eventually, Kristina and the small group disbanded, and she went home to do her painting.

Kristina really didn’t want this story to focus on her. She has a servant’s heart. She volunteers at Pawmetto Lifeline with rescue animals and was a volunteer and career EMT in her home state of Connecticut. What she wants people to get from this was that everyone should be prepared and not hesitate to get involved. “Don’t be a bystander,” Kristina said. “CPR is so easy to learn, and it’s a great thing to know. Learning could have a great impact on someone’s life.” She also said that people who stop and help need not be scared of helping. “Good Samaritan laws exist in SC and almost every state. These protect you from liability if you are making a good faith effort to help save someone’s life,” she concluded.

If you are interested in learning CPR, you can check the American Heart Association and the American Red Crosses’ websites. Click these links: American Heart Association or American Red Cross.

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