Raoul Meekcoms of Tualatin, Oregon may not recall the details of August 12th 2012, but for wife Sandra, those details are all too vivid. That warm, summer day became a day they will never forget. When preparing for a baby shower, “Rook”, as his wife calls him, collapsed in cardiac arrest. Sandra called for help and began performing life-saving Hands-Only CPR as she was instructed over the phone by the 911 operator. Sandra, who hadn’t had CPR training since high school, says she remembered that early training.
Once emergency responders arrived, they took over, continuing CPR and began using an automated external defibrillator to restore Raoul’s heart to a normal rhythm, while he was transported to Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center. Raoul coded once more later that day and again after 44 minutes of CPR his pulse was restored and he began his recovery, with no lasting damage.
Raoul has become an inspiring advocate on the importance of CPR training, sharing his story with young people, decision makers, and the public. He’s a member of the AHA’s Oregon CPR Committee. In 2013, Raoul even testified before the Oregon Senate Education and Workforce committee in hopes of passing an AHA priority bill to make training in CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators a requirement for high school graduation. And this past month, Raoul shared his story of survival with the dozens students trained in Hands-Only CPR at AHA’s Oregon State Lobby Day.
From everyone at the AHA, a warm thank you to Raoul for sharing his story and for his help, and to Sandra for her courageous act to save a loved one’s life.