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Stayin’ Alive

Karen almost died. She shouldn’t have survived. But when she survived, she should have lost so much brain & motor function from being without oxygen for so long. And she certainly shouldn’t have the capacity to turn the thing that almost killed her into her cause to save others.

And yet, there we were last night, learning CPR from Karen. She pleasantly & patiently waited for Wrigley to arrive 20 minutes after 6 before beginning. I thought that was unnecessary to wait for the last guy until she lead with her story of what happened to her that day in her Champion Forest home. You NEED to hear her story in her words. But I will pull some key pieces.

  • Her husband did not know CPR & was unprepared for the unexpected.
  • He ran next door to ask for help, but the woman took too long to answer. He didn’t know that she used to be an RN. She would eventually make it back to their house to help.
  • He ran to another neighbor who was able to come back to the house immediately. He didn’t know that she used to be an RN.
    Together, the women were able to continue CPR until paramedics arrived.

    Yes, both women just happened to be former nurses. And home. I’m sure it was just a coincidence.

Leading with that story set in us a mindset that I haven’t experienced in other CPR classes. I could put names & faces on the dummies. I was no longer learning it just to raise my hand during DiCCS. The infants could have been Mad Dog’s grandkids or Brutus’ kids. The child could be mine or Fusebox’s. The adult could be Grease Monkey or Chatterbox. It could be any one of us.

Performing that knowledge will take a lot of work. You can do compression-only CPR (Chapstickless CPR in BottleCap’s world; a cop-out in Damascus’ world) until help arrives, but it will be a struggle keeping a rhythm of 100 – 120 compressions per minute, going 1/3 of the way down & still allowing the chest to return to normal while keeping arms locked so that you pivot from the hips. You may break bones. You may see boobies. You still have to keep going. We only took turns for about a minute at a time, and there was already some perspiration on the brow. The 2 songs to keep in mind while compressing is “Stayin’ Alive” or “Another One Bites the Dust”. If you just reacted the same way Damascus’ daughter did to those 2 suggestions, then pick any of the songs from the American Heart Association’s Spotify playlist ( or Pandora’s Health Champions Station ( All songs in there have beats between 100 – 120 (I sense a Q coming out of this).

Karen’s story becomes more remarkable & inspiring the more she talks. Not only does she charge the bare minimum per person to get people trained, but she takes that money to buy AED’s to donate to organizations. Those donated AED’s are across Union, Mecklenburg & Cabarrus counties.
“How much is an AED, Karen?”
“About $1200.”
“We’ll get you one.”

Yeah, I committed us to buy her an AED so she could #GiveItAway.
We just raised $10,000. This is easy. It is tangible. It is lasting. We are men of quick impact. Why have her wait to get another AED by nickel & diming her?  Let’s just get it done!

She just sent me a quote from her supplier. It’s $1,216.95. You OK making it an even $1,300?

Venmo @F3Waxhaw
Be sure to label it as “AED”.

If you are looking to have CPR training in your region, I can’t recommend Karen Ledford enough.
$15 per person or

Thanks to Surge for seeing a group of men unprepared to save another man’s life and then doing something about it.

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