A New Brunswick mother(Roxana Soetebeer) and her teenage son(Phillip Soetebeer) have received the Canadian Red Cross Rescuer Award after their quick-thinking and actions saved the life of a loved one two months ago.
On October 24, Jorge Soetebeer went into cardiac arrest, just three weeks after undergoing open-heart surgery.
His wife Roxana and 13-year-old son Phillip saw what was happening and immediately began administering CPR.
Jorge Soetebeer says he is proud of his wife and son and thankful for their CPR training and their persistence. (CTV Atlantic)
“I was worried I was going to break the, whatever is holding his chest together and make it worse, but I decided I just had to keep going, because if I didn’t, you know, he’s not breathing on his own,” says Phillip.
The pair called 911 and operators helped them keep pace and offered words of encouragement.
It took the ambulance almost half an hour to reach the Soetebeer’s remote home in Skiff Lake, N.B. and the pair administered CPR the entire time.
Chantal Savoie of the Canadian Red Cross says performing the life-saving technique on a loved one would have been difficult, especially for that length of time.
“I think it’s a stressful moment, whether it’s a family member or not, but when it’s a family member or loved one, somebody that you care about, it definitely adds that amount of stress for sure,” says Savoie.
“It must be a shock if you see your family member passing out and stop breathing and it didn’t bother them, they just did it and they did such a good job, they kept me for over twenty minutes until the ambulance came and delivered a shock,” says Jorge.
Jorge was brought to the Upper River Valley Hospital in Waterville and was later transferred to the Saint John Regional Hospital.
He has almost no memory of his life that week – a week his family spent anxiously at his bedside.
“The family came and the doctors didn’t give us a lot of hope and yet he woke up without brain damage,” says Roxana.
“I’m still shocked that it actually worked, that you can do 25 minutes of CPR and that it actually works.”
Jorge says he is proud of his wife and son and thankful for their CPR training and their persistence.