WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – When the heart stops beating, immediate CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.
NFL player and Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin got immediate attention last night, and nine minutes of chest compressions.
A Warren man has a similar story of being saved by CPR. Pat Parry and his wife Melissa had a life-changing experience on Easter Sunday 2020 when Melissa found Pat unresponsive in a downstairs bathroom.
Melissa is a nurse and performed CPR until the paramedics arrived who shocked his heart and rushed him to the hospital. He was eventually taken to the Cleveland Clinic and remained in a coma for four weeks.
“My first memory was waking up in the Cleveland Clinic in the intensive care and there was a sign below the TV that said, “You are in the Cleveland Clinic,'” Parry said.
Parry hasn’t found out what started the heart event. He had five stents, and it hasn’t stopped him from doing the things he did before the event. One of those is football. Parry is an official. He was on the field for South Range’s state semifinal win and a week before in the Canfield game. He was also watching Monday night’s game when Damar Hamlin collapsed.
“When they started doing CPR, my wife was a little bit shaken by that,” Parry said. “I was just thankful that he was receiving treatment as quickly as he was.”
Parry hopes Hamlin recovers just like he has and shares that CPR works and saves lives.
“Had my wife not been trained in CPR and not able to perform CPR, or if I had been alone when it occurred, I would not have survived,” he said.
Parry believes the most important key was that he got CPR almost immediately, just like Damar Hamlin. He said he knows how to do CPR should he ever be needed to give it to someone else.
Parry officiates college football games. He has even helped Pitt by officiating its spring game and other football practices. He knows he’s been on the football field with Damar Hamlin and now has a closer connection to him.