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Patient Care

Calif. Man Reunites with EMTs, Firefighters Who Saved His Life

“I just did what I had been trained to do,” states Kenneth Forgery, who helped save a family member’s life. 

On October 21st of 2018, Kenneth had just finished having a meal with his family when suddenly his father-in-law, Humberto Turcios, grabbed his own face and started gasping for air. He then collapsed. He quit breathing and  had no pulse. 

At that point, Kenneth’s daughter had become the first link in the Chain of Survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims; she called 911 and activated the emergency response system. Kenneth became the second link by realizing the severity of the situation and administering CPR. 

“I’m certified in CPR and first aid,” states Kenneth. “I followed the 911 dispatch instructions and continued for approximately five minutes doing chest compressions until EMTs arrived, set up their equipment, and took over the process.” 

“Statistically speaking, 80 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the home. This means that bystander intervention—hands-only CPR—is absolutely one of the most important aspects affecting patient survivability,” said firefighter Mickey Brunelli of the Merced Fire Department. 

According to Russel Banks, Paramedic with Riggs Ambulance Service, what really saved Humberto’s life is the early recognition and CPR done by his family. As the third link in the Chain of Survival, Russell, along with the Merced City firefighters who arrived on scene, were immediately able to defibrillate Humberto. He was shocked three times before the emergency crews were able to get his pulse back. 

Finally, the final link in the Chain of Survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims is the Advanced Life Support and post-cardiac arrest care provided by the staff at Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock, CA. 

“Our experienced staff at Emanuel Medical Center is dedicated to providing patients with comprehensive care close to home and to hear Humberto’s story is amazing,” said Lani Dickenson, CEO of Emanuel Medical Center. She also said, “Seeing our patients healthy and happy after being discharged is such a joy. That’s what we’re here for.” 

The family of Humberto felt like everyone did a great job taking care of their loved one. They were with Humberto as he recovered at Emanuel Medical Center and watched him get up and move around only days after his life was saved. 

“I felt blessed to be able to help him. I’m glad to have had the skills taught by CPR so that he could live to still be with us,” states Kenneth. He also believes that every household should have someone that is trained in such a lifesaving procedure such as CPR. 

Humberto and his family reunited with the emergency services crews, fire crews, and hospital staff that helped save his life on February 5th at 10:00 am at the Riggs Ambulance Service Training and Education Center (1743 Ashby Road in Merced). It was an opportunity to celebrate the fact that every part of the Chain of Survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims worked like it should.

“Every morning I thank the Heavenly Father, grateful for my family and all those who worked on me to give me a second chance at this life on earth,” explains Humberto about his experience. 

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