"Most people take CPR classes not thinking that they'll have to use it," says Pat Scroggs, former Germantown Chamber of Commerce President.
Her husband, Larry Scroggs, had to use it sooner than he thought; in November, Pat had sudden cardiac arrest.
"I went to sleep for about 15 minutes and I woke up, had some type of noise, gasping sound that he immediately knew I had stopped breathing and there was no pulse. He really thought I was gone," recalls Pat, "High energy women that have not had any type of health problem, for whatever reason their heart stops."
She says her husband dialed 911 while immediately starting CPR chest compressions. Pat says Larry told her that she regained color in her face twice while he was doing CPR.
"The sooner we can get proper CPR initiated, the sooner that we can get that person circulating blood to their brain, to their vital organs," says Methodist Germantown Emergency Room Physician Dr. Robert Rayder. He adds that for every minute a person goes without CPR while his or her heart is stopped, the chance of survival decreases between seven- and ten-percent.
When paramedics arrived at the Scroggs home, they took over CPR and used a defibrillator on her once. Doctors later gave her hypothermia treatment - something she was healthy enough for – to prevent swelling her in brain and airlifted her to Methodist University Hospital.
Rayder says all of this treatment by doctors begins with bystanders initiating CPR immediately, like Pat's husband.
"The first person that comes onto the scene, first person that sees someone go into arrest: That person may be the difference, in fact, is probably the biggest difference between life and death," says Rayder.
Now that she personally knows the importance of CPR, it is Scroggs' mission to get more people CPR certified. She even took a class in April.
"Some of my friends had it years ago and I had it years ago too – 20 plus years – we went together and obviously with them it was much more meaningful," says Pat.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13 485 S. Highland St. Memphis, TN 38111
Main Station: (901) 320-1313 Newsroom: (901) 320-1340