What If I Didn’t Know CPR?

I just renewed my CPR certification this past weekend. Even though a CPR certificate is usually valid for 3 years, I have to renew it annually for one of my professional designations and you know what, a refresher every year is not a bad thing! Fortunately, I’ve never had to use those skills in a professional setting, but that CPR training came in handy one night about 18 years ago.

It was a Saturday night when my wife and I went to visit her cousin who had a baby boy 9 days prior. We had a nice dinner and then the husband and I went downstairs to the “man cave” while the ladies were upstairs with the baby.

So there we were, sipping on some vintage wine, shooting the breeze while watching the hockey game on a brand new, big screen TV. I think the Leafs were even winning! Everything was going great until I heard these words:


I bolted up two sets of stairs and once I reached the top, I’ll never forget what happened…

My wife’s cousin turned to me with tears in her eyes and said, “John Paul, please help” as she handed me a blue baby. The baby was gasping for air, trying to breathe, but it was struggling. There was a lot of mucus that was blocking the airflow.

Immediately, I went into action. I didn’t even think. I just started doing a series of back blows and chest thrusts and told the cousin to call 911. The procedure worked – it cleared enough mucus each series to allow the baby to breathe until the paramedics arrived. At that point, they used an aspirator to clear the mucus, then they administered oxygen, and finally rushed the baby to the hospital.

That 9-day old baby is now a teenager and a star hockey player. Thankfully, everything turned out okay, but I wonder what would have happened if we did not go over that night? The baby’s mother was frantic and the father was in shock throughout the entire ordeal; he did not budge from the basement.

The bottom line is that everyone, regardless of whether you’re a health and fitness professional or not, should go for CPR training and refresh their skills regularly.

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