This morning, Tuesday the 24th of February, I pulled my car into a spot in the commuter parking lot at school. I grabbed my things and began to walk towards the buses. A single line began forming, about 30 people long. I began listening to my ipod (yes, I still listen to music on an ipod instead of my phone) while I waited on line for the bus. Suddenly I heard a very loud slap through my music. I turned around to find a older man, maybe about late 60’s early 70’s, lying face down on the concrete. The loud slap I heard was his face and body hitting the ground. A group of students and myself ran over to the man. He was faintly moaning, having difficulty breathing, and wasn’t responsive. My initial thought was that he was having a seizure. We rolled him over on his side and thats where I saw that some of his teeth were shattered and his nose was bleeding. The surrounding students called 911 as we held him on his side. The man had been wearing a black winter hat when he fell and suddenly someone pointed out that blood was dripping from it. We took the hat off to reveal a large gash in his head. At that moment I realized he wasn’t breathing. I don’t know CPR, so I immediately started shouting at the increasing line of people if anyone knew CPR. I shouted a few times and finally small group of people ran over and a girl immediately jumped on and began performing CPR. She was able to get the man to start breathing again. His breaths were shallow and rough and he was choking on something. Another stranger yelled out turn him on his side again. When we did thats when we realized that he was choking on his own vomit. We were able to stabilize the man for a few moments, until he stopped breathing again. Another stranger, a girl, took this round of CPR. While CPR was being performed, another stranger, a man, reached his hand into the incapacitated mans mouth and pulled out his tongue to reveal more vomit shooting up. He stabilized for another moment and again stopped breathing. This went on for at least twenty minutes as we waited for help to arrive. The ambulance eventually arrived and they carted him off on a gurney while still performing CPR.
I really don’t believe the man made it. But I don’t know for sure. I attempted calling the police station and the hospital, but nobody would give me any information. You can call me pessimistic, but the situation didn’t look very bright. Forty minutes of CPR is not a good sign. I don’t know what caused him to collapse, I’m thinking possibly a stroke or a seizure.
I ended up getting blood on my jeans in the process of all this. And as I stare at it now I can’t get this image of the the mans hat laying next to the blood stain in the road out of my head. I’m supposed to study for an exam, but I can’t focus.
I didn’t tell this story so you would think I’m a hero, because I’m not. I wasnt able to catch anybodys name, so I told this story to honor the strangers who REALLY helped. The people who stood out, but will eventually fade back into the chaos of the everyday. I’m kicking myself hard because I don’t know CPR, but I am currently searching for classes I can take immediately. It’s such a powerful tool and I firmly believe everyone should know how to perform it.
Thank you for reading my story. Go tell someone you love them.