Friday, January 9, 2009

TOP STORY>>Little Rock Airman performs lifesaving CPR

By Senior Airman Nathan Allen
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

What started out as a late lunch for an Airman from the 19th Security Forces Squadron turned into a lifesaver for a man who suffered a heart attack during the icy winter weather Dec. 16.

While driving to a fast food restaurant in Cabot, Staff Sergeant Jessica Weverka, a desk sergeant for the 19th SFS, first noticed an incident when she entered the
off-ramp of exit 19 off highway 67/167 North.

“I started taking the Cabot exit and I noticed there was a semi truck parked in the grassy median there. A guy popped out in front of the semi and started yelling at me. I rolled down my window and he started yelling ‘there’s a guy laying on the ground on the other side of the semi and I don’t think he’s breathing.’”

At this, Sergeant Weverka left her car and called 911 to report the incident and the unconscious man’s condition.

“When I talked to the 911 operator, I told him there was a pulse, but it was really weak,” she said. “His tongue was really swollen…my first guess was that he’d had a heart attack. His whole face was purple and the crown of his head was blotchy white.”

According to Sergeant Weverka, this was about the time a Cabot police officer arrived to help her perform CPR.

“Right before I started CPR, the Cabot police officer arrived on scene.

I quickly told him what was going on, he started with the chest compressions, and I started doing the mouth to mouth portion of it.

He did about 4 repetitions of 30 and I gave him 3 or 4 breaths.

He seemed like he took a couple gasps of breath and shortly after that, the ambulance arrived, put a mask on his face, lifted him into the gurney, electroshocked him once or twice to get his heart rate steady, and put him on a ventilator. It all happened pretty fast.”

Cabot Assistant Fire Chief Mark Smart confirmed that Sergeant Weverka’s diagnosis was correct.

The man, Mr. Gene Jones from Clinton, Indiana had suffered a heart attack.

Sergeant Weverka was already performing bystander CPR on Mr. Jones when Chief Smart arrived on scene. Though Mr. Jones remained in critical condition during and shortly after the incident, he is now stabilized and doing well.

“He probably wouldn’t be where he is today if not for her” Chief Smart said.

According to Sergeant Weverka, Major Chris Ford, 19th Security Forces commander gave her a tip on how to handle the attention her heroic actions have brought her.

“He said that I was gonna have to get a bigger beret because my head was gonna swell,” she said. “But he doesn’t have to worry about that.”


Post a Comment