The Short of It
An Illinois teen saves his father's life by using CPR, which he was scheduled to learn in a class two days later.
Tom Gould never could've known that the moment he went into his 16-year-old son Brendan's room to tell him he was taking his younger sister to a friend's house would change his life forever.
"Next thing I knew, he grabbed the wall and fell. I paused for a second and asked what was wrong," Brendan recalled to Today.
But his dad didn't answer; he'd turned purple, so Brendan and his sister Grace called 911.
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With an operator's help, Brendan began CPR on his dad and continued the life-saving measure for two minutes until paramedics arrived. Although he'd never done it before, he says, "I wasn't really scared. If I didn't do CPR, he would have died."
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Frighteningly, that is very true. Gould had suffered cardiac arrest, which causes the heart to stop beating completely and can result in death more quickly than a heart attack. While the 56-year-old was previously diagnosed with a heart condition called ventricular complex, it is not known why he went into cardiac arrest that day. Now, two months after his near-death experience, Gould says he is 85 percent of where he should be.
Although Brendan didn't know how to perform CPR the day his dad needed it, he was set to take a class just two days later as part of an Illinois state requirement that all high school students complete a certification course before graduation.
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Clearly, it would behoove all young people—and their parents!—to get certified in CPR because you never know when someone you know or love might need it. Kudos to Brendan for staying cool under extreme pressure. I'm sure his father is incredibly proud and thankful.