In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we are highlighting Dora De La Rosa. She became a Red Cross CPR instructor after a stranger saved the life of her niece, Mary Jane.
It happened over 30 years ago. It was a beautiful summer family beach outing at Galveston, Texas. From one minute to another, a child, Mary Jane, went missing from our group. We all set out to look for her and found her at the bottom of a sand slop that had accumulated water. Her father was the first to find her. When we heard the cries of the horrified father, we all ran to him to find him hugging his child, crying.
All of a sudden, from nowhere, a stranger came and reached for the little 8 year old girl and asked if he could help. Mary Jane had foam coming out of her mouth and her eyes were turned back. Despite of her physical state the stranger started and continued to perform CPR until the ambulance arrived.
At the hospital she was treated and released days later. Today Mary Jane is now in her 40s. I was very young at that time myself, but I never forgot about the man who happened to be taking a walk on the beach that day, and how he reached over to the father to help his daughter.
We never knew his identity or where he came from. Where ever he may be, he is often mentioned in our family prayers. Was he trained at the American Red Cross? I may never know, but I do know that timing is everything and that a stranger was at the right place at the right time. I also know that CPR does work. It's important that we learn the facts about CPR and understand that time means survival.
Wherever this man may be, I thank him. He changed my life and the lives of my family.
Dora De La Rosa
The American Red Cross encourages at least one family member be trained in CPR and first aid. To get trained, visit our Take a Class and search for a course that is right for you.