Posted on 11/30/2019

Survivor: George Bond

Date of Event:

Location of Event: Sidewalk near gym

Chuck Cooper

On June 19, 2019, I was jogging to the local community gym for my normal morning workout, which would have been followed by a jog back home. That day, however, my life changed in a heartbeat or more nearly the lack of a heartbeat. I collapsed on the sidewalk, unconscious until spotted by an older couple who didn’t know what to do. Fortunately for me, Chuck Cooper was not working this day and was driving his son to the pool at our gym. Chuck told his son to walk the rest of the way to the pool then he went into action.

Chuck last took a CPR class 20-25 years ago and told me later he started CPR scared that he was going to do more harm than good. He only knew the 15:2 procedure taught years ago, but he started doing it. He pumped hard and fast, and when he heard ribs crack doubt entered his mind if he was doing the right thing. He didn’t stop though I am certain many people would have. Chuck directed a bystander to run to the gym and grab the AED off the wall, and kept pumping 15/2, 15:2, 15:2. I gurgled and vomited something up, but this did not stop Chuck. Despite having no mask to put over my mouth he kept pumping and breathing.

A neighbor who stopped told me later that if Chuck had doubts about what he was doing, it didn’t show. He just kept pumping while trying to will be back to life “live, live, you can, you must, and you will!” 15:2, 15:2. The AED arrived and Chuck let another Samaritan take over compressions while he opened it and thankfully found the instructions simple. As he attached the pads, EMS arrived and took over.

Chuck sat back in the grass physically and mentally spent and prayed that he had done the right thing. Clearly Chuck had seized the day despite fear, doubt, and an understandable lack of confidence. I was in a coma for several days but came out to find family and friends in abundance. I celebrated my 55th birthday in the hospital with a cake bearing a single candle. My daughters decided that this should be my first birthday as my scrape with death had been narrow indeed. Thanks to Chuck Cooper, I remain a dad and husband, not an SCA statistic.