PLATTSBURGH — Leonard and Irene Read had just sat down to enjoy their evening dinner when life as they knew it changed in an instant.
“The next thing I knew (following that Oct. 7 meal), I woke up in the hospital weeks later,” Leonard said of the day he suffered cardiac arrest and was perched on the edge of mortality.
BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE
“He has complete amnesia (of the event and his subsequent recovery),” Irene added. “He had died; they literally brought him back to life. They were terrific, absolutely every one of them.”
Irene was referring to the Morrisonville Emergency Medical Services staff that responded to the 911 call she had placed when her husband collapsed and lay unresponsive on the dining-room floor.
“He was not breathing when we arrived,” said Renee Anderson, one of the first-responders on the scene. “His wife was doing CPR, but we took over the compressions.”
In fact, a New York State trooper was first on the scene and initiated CPR but then asked Irene if she could take over while he went out to his vehicle to retrieve an automated external defibrillator he could use to help revive Leonard, 76.
That is when the emergency-medical personnel arrived and brought with them a piece of medical equipment they had on loan from a vendor that would ultimately play a key role in saving Leonard’s life.
“This LUCAS device is an automated CPR compression machine that hooks around the patient and does compressions, freeing the emergency personnel to do other things they need to do,” said Kent Faus, captain for Morrisonville EMS.
“This particular device was on loan; we (were) hoping against hope that we’d never have to use it, but it’s available when this gentleman collapses, and it provides a valuable service for the responders.”