On an early Monday morning on March 22, 2021, David Burch suffered a widow-maker heart attack.
These serious cardiac arrests are known for their quick attack and for rarely leaving survivors, hence the unfortunate nickname of “widow-maker.” That is only if they receive prompt emergency treatment.
Luckily for David, his eldest son Nathanial had just received his EMT certifications a month prior. Nathanial jumped into action while his mother called 9-1-1. He put his training to work – quickly and efficiently taking vitals, applying CPR and relaying critical information to the 9-1-1 operator.
For more than 10 minutes, Nathanial performed chest compressions and continued to do so even as help arrived from the LA County Sheriff’s department, who took over and activated their rescue equipment, trying to manage David’s worsening condition.
Sadly, despite all their life-saving work, David flat-lined. He stopped breathing. His heart stopped beating.
His family stood by him, desperately praying for a miracle. The EMT had pulled out the defibrillator. Attempt after attempt had no results and was leading to desperation. Finally, after the sixth attempt with the defibrillator, a slight beat appeared on the monitor. David had regained a pulse.
A rush of relief and excitement flooded the room, and the EMT removed their equipment and rushed David to the hospital.
Coming back from a widow-maker heart attack is nearly impossible. Thankfully for David, Nathaniel’s quick thinking and training saved his life that day and he is now fully recovered.
The deputy on-call shared: “It is my opinion, based on 10 years working the field, that had it not been for Nathaniel conducting CPR in such a timely manner and never giving up, his dad would have died on the floor of that bedroom. Nathaniel is a hero, and he saved his father’s life.”
18th Annual Hometown Heroes Awards
Each year, the American Red Cross honors individuals from across Los Angeles County who have demonstrated heroism through extraordinary acts of courage and humanitarian service. We call these selfless individuals Hometown Heroes.
The nominees are ordinary citizens, who go above and beyond to help their communities -from performing CPR when a stranger collapse at a shopping mall to pulling someone from a burning car or building and so much more. They jump into action in a moment’s notice without hesitation – they are a true Hero.
Learn more about the 18th annual Hometown Hero Awards Ceremony on May, 18, 2023.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
Support all the urgent humanitarian needs of the American Red Cross.
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