From Mr. Butch Gibbs himself:
My Chain of Survival
On April 2, 2004, I was getting ready for our annual community play which was to be held that night and the next night. The first night went well. The play ended a little after 9:00pm and as the play ended, I started having chest pain. Not long after arriving home, I went into sudden cardiac arrest and the CHAIN OF SURVIVAL began—
Link #1**EARLY ACCESS** My wife, Susie, had already called the ambulance when the chest pain continued and even before I collapsed.
Link #2**EARLY CPR** Susie immediately started CPR while my daughter, Amy, called to tell EMS this was no longer a “chest pain” call—it was now a “CPR-in-progress” call.
Link #3**EARLY DEBFIBRILLATION** The Humeston First Responders (of which Susie & I are Co-Presidents) arrived in just three minutes and had the first shock off less than a minute later. The shocks would bring my pulse back for a short time, but then it would stop again.
Link #4**EARLY ADVANCED CARE** The Lucas County Ambulance arrived about 20 minutes later. The Paramedic began the cardiac drugs. Soon—after CPR, 22 AED shocks, and the cardiac drugs—my heartbeat was back to stay!
Link #2 would not have been successful without Link #1. Link #3 would not have been successful without Link #2. Link #4 would not have been successful without Link #3. That is the way the Chain of Survival is supposed to work!!
After the 20-mile trip by ambulance to the local Emergency Room where they kept me going and then a helicopter ride, I was at Mercy Hospital Medical Center in Des Moines. After eight days there, I walked out of the hospital with my own little defibrillator implanted in my chest—and it saved my life in January of 2012.
Now, along with teaching numerous CPR/AED classes to local groups, we have lobbied lawmakers in Washington, D.C. and Des Moines for funds to provide AEDs for rural areas where the arrival of an ambulance can be lengthy and for places where large groups of people gather. We helped raise money and obtain grants to purchase AEDs for all the school buildings and law enforcement cars in Wayne County and for other area locations, helped get a law passed requiring all students in Iowa schools to take a CPR class before they can graduate, and provided all the instruction to students and staff at our county’s schools. We become American Heart Association volunteers in activities relating to CPR and AED awareness and were honored to be named the AHA Central Iowa Volunteers of the Year in 2014.
Susie and I believe there is a reason I survived—and that reason is to help spread awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and to show the importance of knowing how to do CPR and how to use an AED so that others may have the same chance at survival that I did.
For more information about CPR Training or to purchase or lease an AED, contact CPR Educators at 919-639-4848. or info@CPReducatorsinc.com