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11-year-old performs CPR, saves grandmother

Posted at 9:53 AM, May 19, 2016

Last July, Irene Sample was walking with Eunique Latchison, her great granddaughter to pick up some used books to donate to her church.  Once they arrived back home, it became obvious that the heat of the day had taken a toll on her, so she asked Eunique to get her something to drink out of the refrigerator. 

When she returned, the 11-year-old discovered her grandmother had collapsed, was unconscious and not breathing.  9-1-1 was called, and Latchison and her brother Darian performed CPR prior to the arrival of the Bakersfield Fire Department and Hall Ambulance Service. 

On-scene, Paramedic Marsha Aase, with assistance from her partner EMT William Cassidy, quickly performed an assessment, followed by defibrillating Sample’s heart with a shock of electricity.  She continued administering advanced life support care, temporarily getting pulses back while inside the patient compartment of the ambulance.  During transport, Sample’s heart slipped back into V-fib, a deadly, unstable heart rhythm. Paramedic Aase shocked her patient once again prior to arriving at the hospital.

For many paramedics, the story ends here—often not knowing the outcome of their patient they provided medical aid to; however, something about this call resonated with Aase.  She was particularly appreciative of the efforts of the patient’s great grandchildren performing CPR—knowing the positive difference it can make for someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. 

Anxious to hear the outcome of Sample’s prognosis, Aase stopped by her bedside twice during her recovery in the hospital. This display of compassion touched Sample’s family so much, that her daughter reached out to say thank you, which led to this patient reunion.

Special recognition will also be presented to Eunique and Darian Latchison for playing an important part in the chain of survival for a cardiac arrest victim by accessing 9-1-1 and starting CPR. Both had been taught CPR by their great grandmother—whom they ended up using this lifesaving procedure on.  Sample was previously a licensed foster parent in San Jose and was required to know the skill.  For her, knowing CPR is a responsibility and obligation that everyone should possess. 

This heartwarming story with a happy conclusion occurs during National Emergency Medical Services Week (May 15-May 21) which celebrates the commitment paramedics, EMTs, and emergency medical dispatchers provide in our community as a critical component of emergency medicine and the public health safety net.