Posted on 11/03/2017
Chris Featherstone and Erika Bean
2017 Nominees – Chris Featherstone and Erika Bean
Survivor – Hannah Bean, Decaur, IL, 16 at time of event (July 11, 2016)

Location of Event – Home

I am writing to nominate my husband and daughter for the People Saving People Award. On July 11th, 2016, I got a call that no mother ever wants to receive. My husband, Chris, called to tell me that my daughter Hannah had collapsed and was being rushed to the hospital. I found out hours later that he and Hannah's sister, Erika, had already helped to save Hannah's life.

They were unlikely heroes that day. I was on a business trip out of state and Hannah's heart was a ticking time bomb. Hannah complained of feeling tired, but my husband asked her to not take a nap. He explained the family would be leaving soon to get dinner. Hannah then sat at her dressing table to fix her hair and makeup. She does not remember the moments before her cardiac arrest. When it hit, she fell backwards off of the chair which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Luckily, my husband heard her fall off of her chair in her room. He elicited the help of Erika, Hannah's older sister. Upon entering Hannah's bedroom they discovered her on the floor, gasping for air.

Erika prompted Chris to call 911. The dispatcher instructed Chris to give Hannah hands-only CPR, and walked him step by step through the process. The doctors and nurses have explained that without bystander intervention by Chris and Erika, Hannah would not be here today. Neither Chris nor Erika ever expected for this to occur. Neither of them had any training in CPR.

By performing hands only CPR, Chris gave Hannah's organs the lifesaving oxygen they needed until rescue personnel arrived. The firefighters and EMTs used an AED and continued to perform CPR on Hannah on the way to the hospital. I will be forever grateful to Chris and Erika, who stepped up when Hannah needed lifesaving intervention. I can't imagine what that moment must have been like. All I know is that a miracle happened that day, which began with two people doing the very best they could for a loved one in a dire situation. 

Since that day I have reached out on social media to implore people to learn hands only CPR. The odds were stacked against Hannah that day, and hands-only CPR and an AED saved her life.

People never think that it could happen to them. If you would have told me that my daughter was going to go into cardiac arrest and that she had an undetected heart condition, I would have never believed it. We have since found out she has a rare genetic condition.

When sudden cardiac arrest strikes, bystanders have only moments to decide whether or not they are going to intervene. My heart is full, knowing that on that fateful day in July 2016, my husband and daughter acted quickly to save Hannah's life. They gave her a second chance at life, and anyone who knows Hannah will tell you that it is a life well lived.

Submitted by Elizabeth Featherstone