Man Credits Red Cross CPR Training With Helping Save His Young Wife’s Life
When Luke Benrud found his wife, Andrea, laying unconscious on the kitchen floor in their Wisconsin home, he knew he had to act quickly to save her life. Andrea had given birth to the couple’s newborn son, Aiden, just a few weeks prior. Her face was turning purple and she did not have a pulse.
The horrible ordeal happened in August 2016 and Benrud recently opened up about it to People magazine in honor of March being American Red Cross Month. He credits the organization with helping him save his wife’s life.
Benrud had to put their baby on the ground before using what he’d learned in CPR classes from the American Red Cross to begin giving Andrea chest compressions. At the same time, he called 911 while little Aiden cried.
“As I did CPR and talked to 911 with Aiden screaming, my adrenaline was going and I was in the moment not really processing what’s going on, just doing what I needed to do,” Benrud told People.
Although Benrud told the magazine he was terrified at the prospect of losing Andrea, he was able to retain enough calm to apply the life-saving training he had received. Benrud remembered that it’s important to apply enough pressure when doing the compressions, which he administered for seven minutes before paramedics arrived.
“Once I’m standing there holding Aiden watching someone else give Andrea CPR and hook her up to the defibrillator, that’s when it hit me, the gravity of the situation,” Benrud told the magazine.
After shocking her heart into action again on the scene, Andrea was rushed to a hospital where she was placed in a medically-induced coma. When Andrea emerged from the coma three days later, she did not show any signs of brain damage and was diagnosed with a previously undetected heart condition called non-compaction syndrome, which had caused her to go into cardiac arrest that night.
Andrea had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator installed and is not expected to experience any further complications.
The Benruds’ story is just another example of CPR skills being used to save a life. The lifesaving technique can be used on everyone from infants to dogs, as was proven by a California firefighter who saved a pup’s life after 20 minutes of CPR following a fire last year.
Benrud told People he hopes that their frightening experience will encourage people to take CPR classes so that they can be ready when the unexpected strikes. You can sign up for CPR classes in your area through the American Red Cross website.