Some people knock off one job to head to another. But how many pizza delivery drivers end their shift only to take up an unexpected and unpaid stint doing CPR on a dying man? At least one: Gary Lucas of Louisville, Ky.
Last Sunday, Lucas had finished his last pizza delivery for the evening at 9pm in St. Matthews, a suburb of Louisville, according to WAVE-TV. Little did he know that he was about to deliver a service that would make the difference between life and death for someone.
Suddenly, he heard a woman's scream, followed by someone shouting "please help me!" Lucas ran to a house where a woman begged him for help. Her husband was sitting in a chair and in physical trouble. When Lucas arrived, the woman -- WAVE withheld the identity of the couple at their request -- was on the phone with 911 emergency services.
But it takes time to get help to a location, and that was something the man didn't have. The emergency operator told them to put the man on the floor. He needed CPR. Just one problem: neither Lucas nor the wife knew how to do it.
So the operator began to talk the pair step by step through the process. It was long and arduous. The woman tried for a while but was too weak and asked Lucas to take over. He did.
Lucas was working hard and exhausted, as Detective Dennis McDonald of the St. Matthews police department told WAVE. The police were the first emergency responders to arrive on the scene.
"I was tired and I was sweating," Lucas said, "because I still had my work clothes on. I had a sweatshirt, a turtleneck." After it was over, he sat on a sofa and fanned himself with his cap. "A cop said, 'Are you OK?' I said, 'Yeah, I'm just hot.'"
McDonald called Lucas a hero. But the deliveryman moonlighting as a life saver disagreed. "I wouldn't go that far," he said. "They're the heroes. The cops and the military, they're the heroes. Not me."
According to the American Heart Association, 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless during a cardiac emergency because they haven't learned CPR or are out of practice. If a bystander provides CPR immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, the victim's chances of survival double to triple. Tragically, only a third of cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from someone nearby.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, there are 220,000 cases of sudden cardiac arrests -- a case where the heart stops and which may or may not involve a heart attack -- per year in the U.S. About 10,000 happen at work. A wait for emergency personnel without giving CPR in the meantime results in only a 5 percent to 7 percent survival rate.
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