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Olathe East teens save dad with CPR

Posted at 5:42 PM, Apr 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-08 23:22:43-04

OLATHE, Kan. — Two Olathe East High School students are being credited for saving their father’s life by performing hands-only CPR.

Seth and Claire Johnson were home during a recent snow day when their father, Mark Johnson, suddenly went into cardiac arrest.

“I heard my brother yelling my dad’s name,” said Claire, an Olathe East senior. “My dad wasn’t responsive, he was turning purple. Signs that he wasn’t just asleep.”

The siblings immediately started chest compressions and called 911.

“We called 911 and pulled him off of the couch,” said Seth, a freshman.

Paramedics rushed their father to the hospital. He survived.

“I don’t how, what words to use to describe just how proud I am of them. They’re amazing,” Mark Johnson said.

According to the American Heart Association, every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation decreases the chance of survival by 10 percent.

“The quicker you get that heart pumping and keep that oxygen going through the brain with the blood movement, the better outcome,” said Erin Gabert, senior community impact director for the American Heart Association.

In both Kansas and Missouri, high school students are required to learn hands-only CPR before graduation.

Seth had learned CPR at school less than two weeks before saving his father’s life. Claire had also learned CPR freshman year and again when she became a lifeguard.

Now the Johnsons are hoping their stories inspire others to learn CPR.

“I want everyone to know that they should be CPR certified and I want everyone to get CPR certified because even if you don’t need it, it’s good to have that skill in case an event like that should arise,” Claire said.

To find a CPR or First Aid training class near you, click here.