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Essay by: ISP110   

Calling 911 is sometimes just not enough. I believe that every professional out there is responsible for knowing something as basic yet important as CPR. A boss is responsible for an employee’s life while at work. When a person goes into cardiac arrest, the first few minutes are the most important. If there is a person that needs CPR, it only takes one person to do it.

Inspiring Stories of Everyday Heroes

In November 1986, 20-year-old construction worker Cliff Meidl was at a work site breaking up a concrete slab with a jackhammer – he didn’t know that the concrete housed an unmarked power line. When the tip of Cliff’s jackhammer punctured the power line 30,000 volts of electricity exploded through him with a charge that was 3 times more powerful than that used for capital punishment in an electric chair. Seconds later he laid dead on the ground, his heart stopped, his clothes smoldering, and his entire body burned.

A firefighter quick to arrive at the scene was able to revive him using CPR. Cliff’s heart stopped twice more in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, but the paramedics resuscitated him each time.

He spent the next several months in the hospital while his body healed from the terrible burns. “One-third of both my knee joints were burned away and two toes were burned off. I had such extensive injuries that the doctors said they would have to amputate my legs,” says Cliff. Fortunately, one surgeon was able to save his legs with a special operation.

Before his accident, Cliff had been a runner. “I was heartbroken because they said I would never walk again.” He finally had to accept that he couldn’t be a runner, but Cliff didn’t give up. He worked hard and was eventually able to walk with braces and as part of his rehabilitation, he began to canoe and kayak.




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