One day a few weeks ago, Brian Buckley was walking down College Avenue in Somerville when he noticed an elderly man leaning against a fire hydrant, holding his chest.
Someone went up to him asking if he was okay, and the man said, “No”, in a painful shout. He then collapsed, face down on the sidewalk. Brian ran to the man immediately and noticed he was breathing very slowly and had a week pulse.
Brian started talking to the man to find out if he could get any kind of response, while a bystander called 911. After a few short breaths, the man stopped breathing.
Brian’s co-worker, Nehemia Blanquart was standing next to Brian and Both help flip the man onto his back. Once he was lying flat on his back, Brian checked for any signs of breathing, there was none. Brian then checked for a pulse, and there was none. At that point rescue had not showed up yet and the man clearly needed immediate medical attention.
Brian asked Nehemia if he knew CPR, and he responded “no.” Brian promptly instructed him on how to give chest impressions, as his Army training dictated. Brian gave quick instructions and both commenced CPR on the man. Nehemia giving the chest impressions, exactly as instructed, and Brian performed mouth to mouth. After a few minutes or so, Brian didn’t feel like they were getting anywhere, but they weren’t ready to give up. The two continued with the CPR and all of a sudden, the man let out a few coughs, then started breathing and had a pulse, just in time for the fire department to arrive.
As the firefighters approached, Brian could feel the pulse slowing down again and they took over. From the look of the man, I didn’t think he would make it and wasn’t sure much could be done once they left the scene in an ambulance.
As it turns out, they took the man to Mount Auburn Hospital where they had determined that the man suffered a heart attack. The man later had a triple bypass and the surgery was successful.
Brian didn’t find out about this successful operation until a couple weeks later, when some people who witnessed the scene told him that the man had survived and was now back home where he resided at Ciampa Manner in Somerville, just in time for Thanksgiving.
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