One of the great joys of working at HSI is having the opportunity to hear about stories that make a difference. Below is a Good Samaritan nomination that we received this week, it truly brought me to tears and I felt I needed to share it with all of you.
Lessons of the Road—“You don’t know who you are until you show up”
Tim Lawrence, Director of a Michigan H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) club, reports on the amazing effort of his riders when they had an opportunity to be heroes during a group ride in the country. He credits MEDIC First Aid Instructors Barb and Linda for giving them the confidence to respond. Here’s Tim’s story:
“It’s amazing what we can learn about each other and ourselves when faced with adversity. As Director I am charged with many duties and responsibilities, but nothing prepared me for the events that transpired Friday afternoon in the North Woods.
That day started as a typical group ride, laughter, bravado, and some macho behavior. We
found ourselves on a beautiful winding, scenic road when out of nowhere the beauty turned to horror.
We happened upon a man lying motionless on the side of the road still grasping his bicycle.
Immediately we pulled to the side as a group to render aid and what happened next was truly
amazing. With the blink of an eye, the well-oiled machine known as Accident Scene Management deployed as if we practiced together for years.
The Ride leader promptly shut down the road in front and the Sweeper closed the rear instantly. While they secured the scene four of us ran to the side of the man (we found later his name was Mark). It was determined immediately that he had no pulse; I announced to a man that also happened along “she is a nurse”! He quickly replied, “I am a doctor”. What a relief; this guy has a chance!
Under the direction of the Doctor I quickly stabilized Mark’s neck and checked for signs of trauma, someone then shouted start CPR! And they were off.
After what seemed like hours I felt the most miraculous thing ever, a pulse! Not just a pulse, a
strong one. Wow! I thought he’s going to make it but then as quickly as it came, it left. They continued CPR as I kept yelling for Mark not to give up! 15 minutes went by [with rescuers] changing positions as not to tire, and the chest compressions continued.
The sheriff was the first on the scene and gave us his defibrillator, which Jeryl took the lead
on immediately. In the distance we heard ALS and Fire racing to the scene; when they pulled up, the first thing they said was “keep going, continue CPR”! Huh? Apparently the crew was doing so good, they were able to get the cart and medicine ready as we continued. I heard one EMT say “Good CPR, nice job.” The police and firemen both kept telling us how much they appreciated what we were doing.
We loaded Mark on the gurney and placed him into the ambulance, I slammed both doors, gave it a smack, and they were off.
Dan, Grumpy, Kevin, Ramona, Kim, and Wally, you kept the rest of us and Mark safe from harm’s way by shutting down the roads and directing emergency equipment to the scene. Holly, you kept your cool calling 911 and obtaining very important information, including his name and family contact. Jeryl, Joe, and Steve, your knowledge and calmness in performing CPR was Mark’s only chance, period! The team work was awe inspiring—you never gave up, you just kept going. I am truly proud of all of you that day and I’m so honored to be your Director.”
Unfortunately, Mark, 57, of Ironwood, Michigan, later passed away of a heart attack. Tim’s message to Mark’s family was “to let them know he did not pass alone but in the company of Angels.”
I encourage you to share your stories with us. Thank you to everyone that teaches these skills and those that have the care and compassion to respond in a time of crisis.
Kristine Rice, Marketing Programs Manager