There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when 18-year-old Lindsay Dolan shared her story at the 2013 Silicon Valley Chapter Community Heroes Breakfast.
It was a typical Sunday. Lindsay was hanging out with her neighbor, Kaylie Gonzalez, while her dad, Larry, was grilling in the backyard and her mother, Lori, was watching the 49ers game. Suddenly Lindsay heard her dad screaming frantically. She sprinted downstairs to find her mom unconscious on the couch.
Lindsay screamed, “Mom, wake up!” several times to no response. While Larry called 911, Lindsay thought, “If I can do anything at this moment to help save my mother’s life, I need to do it now.”
Lindsay started to give rescue breaths while Kaylie alerted her brother, Joey Gonzales, who was studying to be an EMT to help take over giving CPR. It was seven long minutes until the paramedics arrived.
Although 15 minutes had elapsed, the paramedics decided to continue CPR for one more minute. Finally, they got a pulse from Lori.
Lori was in a coma. The doctors warned her family that even if she survived, she could suffer from serious brain damage.
On the third day, Lori awoke.
She was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle, and received a pacemaker. Lori is now happy and healthy.
“I never take anything for granted anymore, and I thank The Lord every day for giving me a second chance at life,” said Lori.
Lindsay credits her actions to the CPR program taught to her as a ninth grader at Fremont High School.
Doctors told her it was the first three minutes of mouth-to-mouth that saved her mother from permanent injury.
“I have learned from this experience that anything can happen at any moment in life, and that you just have to be prepared for the worst,” Lindsay said. “Today, my mom and I are closer than we’ve ever been. She is my inspiration to keep fighting in life.”