A lesson well learned

Linda Ford of Warren learned CPR when she worked for Penelec during the 1980s, and kept up her certification throughout the years, thinking it was a skill she would never need.

Around 1 p.m. Thursday in the CVS parking lot in downtown Warren, she was proven wrong.

“I came out of CVS only to see the lady and gentleman I was talking to in the store running for their cell phones to call 911. As my eyes shifted to the right side of the parking lot, I saw a gentleman in bad shape. He was having a seizure,” she said.

“As the lady called 911, I knelt down to roll the man over to check him and noted that he was not breathing, he had no pulse and his eyes were dilated and fixed. I asked the lady next to me to tell dispatch his condition. I said to myself, ‘Okay Linda, now is your time. You better do something’.”

“I began pressing on his chest, it was easier than I thought… He went from a gray color to blue, especially around his lips. I kept on pumping his chest and finally he began to breathe, and the color came back to his face,” she said.

“By that time, the medics and emergency team were there. They hooked the gentleman up on life support and took him to Warren General.”

“…After thanking the girl who helped me, I thanked God first, and said ‘I’m so glad Penelec sent me to CPR classes.”

“I’ve never felt better about myself,” she said.

Because of privacy rules, Ford has not been able to learn the man’s name, or even his condition, so she said, “God bless you wherever you are. I hope you have recovered and are back with your family soon.”

Warren General Hospital could not provide any information about the man due to confidentiality requirements in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly known as HIPAA.

Ford said she thought people should learn CPR. “I definitely don’t think training is a joke,” she said. “It’s very serious, a life-saving matter.”

She noted that the CPR she performed was a “hands only” version.

Rex Rossey, regional volunteer manager with the Warren County Red Cross, said the organization offers an online course for hands only CPR. “It is one of the ways the Red Cross is getting people to respond. It is not a certified course, it’s more of a general education for the public,” he said.

The Red Cross does have certified courses with instructors, he added.