February 16, 2009

Harry’s a Hero – again!

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:22 am by Debra

We got a  phone text last night from our son, Harrison, who works as EMT in LA County:

“I just gave CPR for almost 20 minutes to a man on Mt Baldy in the middle of an icy street.”

OMG.  Just the thought of him in such a life and death situation immediately sent my heart racing.

I asked, are you ok?  and his reply, YEP.

He was texting us from his Valentine’s Day dinner date, where he went after the experienced was over. Today we were able to speak with him.

He had the day off,  so he and his friend decided to take a drive up in the mountains, to Mt. Baldy, just outside of LA, to see the newly fallen snow.  As they arrived into the little downtown area traffic was stopped, and he could see about 3 cars ahead of him. Some people were removing a man from a car.  When he saw what was happening, he thought, “they are probably getting ready to do CPR on the guy”.   He immediately got out of the car and ran up to see if they needed his help.

There were a few people attending the patient, they told him the guy was having an apparent heart attack.  Harry told them he was an EMT and asked if they wanted his help, to which they said YES!

The man was laid out in the cold icy street, next to his car (with his two children inside), and Harry started chest compressions.  Within about 10 minutes a local fire truck arrived, but there were no EMT’s or Paramedics on board.  Fortunately they did have an AED device, a portable defibrillator.  Harry hooked the guy up to the monitor and could see his heart beat and pulse.  Harry said he used the defibrillator paddles on the man several times trying to get his heart going again.  Another 10-15 minutes passed, when the ambulance/paramedics arrived.  When Harry turned the care of the patient over to them, the man did have a pulse and was breathing.

Harry said he didn’t know what the ultimate outcome was, but he says (modestly) “If I hadn’t been there, the guy wouldn’t have made it.
Then I asked him, so how does this make you feel, as you think about what happened the day before?  His response, “I feel very special, I feel like God put me in a situation where I could use my training and gifts to help save a life.”

He’s also talked a guy down from the ledge, who was ready to take his own life.  He’s handled medical emergencies at the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena as a volunteer for the Red Cross.  Even on his flight to visit us recently, the crew asked if there were any medical professionals on board to help them with a diabetic patient, and Harry was the one who came forward to help her.

He decided a few months ago to pursue advanced training in first responder emergency care, and will be attending Paramedic School in LA in March.  I think he’s ready.

Thank you Harry, and thanks to all the other emergency personnel who are there for us every day when we need them. We are so proud.

As parents, we never know for sure how our adult children will be able to handle themselves when the stresses of life come down on them.  So far, with all of  our four, we we have seen them come under some pretty stressful circumstances, and each time we were so proud of how well they handled it.  All those years of teaching them the best we knew how, now we are seeing the results.  It’s very gratifying and yet so humbling all at the same time.



  1. Carrington said,

    Way to go Harry!

  2. Daron said,

    What MAD SKILLZ he has! Tremendous work! He is (has always been, and will always be) a superstar. thank you for sharing the story

  3. Dani said,

    Yeah it was pretty amazing how fast he reacted. He got there and just took control of the situation. Just before we got on the scene Harry was saying how he wished we had left a lot earlier to go to the snow. But there is a reason for everything. I feel we were meant to leave later to be in the right place at the right time so Harry could help that man. He really is a true Hero!

  4. Carl said,

    Harry… the awesome guy of the week!

    This was truly a gift of life. Bless you Harry.

  5. Uncle Dan said,

    Way to go Harrison!!!!

    Your the man……..Bootleg…..

    Praise God

  6. Big Joy said,

    Dear Harrison,

    I am so proud of you. Your story brought tears to my eyes. I just think of his children and how you changed the course of events. What a very proud moment in time and you were there with you special skills to do the most important thing in life and that is … to save life.

    I will keep your email to show all my friends about my “other son” and what a wonderful young man he has become.

    You have found your “passion” in life. And look at the difference you will make to the lives and families of those you help. God Bless You, Love
    from your other MOM!!!!

  7. Incredible! Always has to be a show off…


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