To The Man That Saved My Dad

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I’m sharing my dad’s story with his permission.

Just A Regular Day

It was around 5:00 pm the day before Thanksgiving. My dad ran to the store to grab some last minute food for Thanksgiving dinner. He told me how great he was feeling and that he planned to go to the gym later that evening.
 
He was standing in the self check out line, you were somewhere in that crowded line too. He’s from the south, so I imagine, despite the busy holiday bustle, he was probably smiling and making small talk with the other customers…maybe he chatted with you. 
 
He stepped up to scan his items and the next thing he remembers he’s on the ground with a crowd of people over him, his head and chest are throbbing, people are crying, an ambulance has been called.
 
You watched him go down and knew just what to do. I am told you sprung to action and immediately performed CPR on my unconscious dad. You got his heart going again, but his heart rate was so low that he never saw you. 
 
I don’t know your story, but I am told the same thing happened to you. That your heart stopped and someone saved you. And that you went and learned CPR so that, maybe one day, you could save someone else.
 
Thank you for taking something so bad and turning it into something hopeful.
 

True Colors

We show our true colors when we’re scared and vulnerable. Most people don’t want to be seen like that and we certainly never want to see our loved ones in that position. But here we were, Thanksgiving day, hospital bed, monitors beeping, alarms going off, and a heart that had already stopped twice more since you saved him.
 
I would never wish that on anyone, yet I’m so thankful I got to see my dad in this state. There he was after one of the most traumatic experiences of his life, cracking jokes with the nurses, visibly grateful to be alive, a proud dad introducing the hospital staff to his daughters and their husbands, thanking everyone he could.
 

A Very Thankful Thanksgiving

A few days after he was discharged, with his new pacemaker and a refreshed outlook on life, he went back to the store where it happened. He thanked the assistant manager (who had given everyone in the check out line free food). He chatted up the staff and asked about you. He still hasn’t been able to get in touch with you, but please know how thankful we are. How ironic that this happened on Thanksgiving and how I and my family really had so much to be thankful for
 
  • That my dad wasn’t alone when his heart stopped, that he was feeling good and was out and about running errands and just being his friendly self.
  • That your own experience led you to learn CPR, that your selfless, pay-it-forward attitude is one of the main reasons my dad is still alive today.
  • That I got to see that when my dad is at his weakest, he is stronger than many men at their strongest.
  • That, because of this experience, my dad has a renewed outlook on life. For this, I’m eternally grateful.
And so, one day I hope we get to meet you and thank you in person. But for now, please know that we will be learning CPR in your honor. Please know that you saved a man’s life, a man I love, and that maybe one day we will pay it forward too.
 
 
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Kim is a native Northern Virginian. She married her high school sweetheart and they have two children, Leland (2014) and Christy (2015). She is a foster & adoptive mom and a pastor's wife and is passionate about advocating for exploited women & children and going green without breaking the bank. You can find her educating and empowering women to live consciously and take care of their health by switching to safer and ethically produced products over in her Facebook community (facebook.com/groups/wonderfullymadewithkim). She LOVES: Jesus, her husband’s cooking, snuggling her kids, taking naps, talking about the Enneagram, and the beach. She could do without: humidity, bugs, winter, and writing thank-you notes.

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