Immediate CPR Before EMS Arrival Was the Reason for Joe's Survival

Immediate CPR Before EMS Arrival Was the Reason for Joe's Survival

Rescuers Josh Devou and Jess Devou with survivor Joe Devou (center)
2015 Nominees – Josh and Jess Devou
Survivor – Joe Devou, Levant, Maine, 49 at time of event (February 16, 2015)

Location of event – Home

I am writing to nominate my son and daughter for the People Saving People Award. On February 16, 2015, my husband suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in our home. Fortunately, due to a swift response from both of my children, he is still alive today. My daughter Jess learned CPR during a class she took at a local community college and my son Josh learned basic lifesaving techniques during an athletics training course while he was in high school.

I immediately alerted my children at about 11:00 pm that there was something wrong. I myself had no idea what to do, but both of my children knew exactly what to do. Josh and Jess moved their father to the floor and Jess immediately started CPR. Josh called 911 and starting relaying commands to Jess. Jess performed CPR for about seven minutes until paramedics arrived and they revived Joe with an AED (automated external defibrillator). All medical professionals involved in his treatment agree that the immediate performance of CPR before paramedics arrived was the reason for Joe’s survival.

After learning how many people suffer from sudden cardiac arrest and the low percentage of people who survive, I have realized what an extraordinary thing both of my kids did. All medical professionals involved in the rescue have said that the quick response from Jess and Josh not only saved their father's life, but prevented any long term effects from the arrest. Joe has just completed cardiac rehab and is improving amazingly. He is showing no ill effects of the arrest. He and I are forever grateful for how our children reacted that night. 

News coverage: 

Nominated by Mary Devou

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