April 3, 2019 began like any other day for Charlie Nordhoff. Little did he know that his life would change forever and he would be saved through CPR, thanks to the quick, life-saving actions of his colleagues.
Charlie did not recognize that he was having a heart attack, nor did he recognize any symptoms of a heart attack. One of his co-workers noticed he had fallen to one knee while walking past and stopped him to ask was he alright, this puzzled Charlie because he had no recollection of this happening. Charlie decided to take a minute and use the restroom, gather his thoughts, he was a little shaken that his co-worker had seen him fall and yet he had no recollection. Before he made it to the restroom Charlie went into sudden cardiac arrest and he was out for 12 minutes before anyone found him. Thankfully the co-worker who found him was a volunteer fire fighter (had been with the local volunteer fire department for 30+ years) and began CPR right away.
CPR was performed on Charlie for twenty minutes before and ambulance arrived and three of Charlies colleagues took turns performing CPR so they didn’t tire out.
Charlie never regained consciousness. Once the paramedics arrived and were able to take over, they were able to use and AED to help save Charlie’s life. At that time his company did not have and AED on site.
Charlie was in a medically induced coma for 36 hours after his cardiac arrest, he has no memory recall of the events that happened, but what he does know that even being ‘out’ for 10-12 minutes without help, he didn’t suffer any cognitive impairment or lose any brain function which the doctors have all said is a miracle.
Now, Charlie lives with a defibrillator, and he sees his cardiologist every six months to check in, but the biggest change he has made is in his diet and exercise.
His passion is to raise awareness survivor about learning Hands-Only CPR and he is relentless about the mission of the American Heart Association.
He and his family formed Team Nordhoff and walk every year at the Greater Maryland Heart Walk to celebrate that he is a survivor and to spread CPR awareness and training. He and his family also walk to honor not only his heroes: Dave Carey, Brittany McCelvey and Brian Salida but all the heroes who know Hands-Only CPR and stand at the ready to save a life if called upon!
Each year more than 350,000 out of hospital cardiac arrest occur in the United States and about 90 percent of die. Knowing and performing bystander CPR can double or even triple the person’s chance of survival. It takes 90 seconds to learn to save a life. You can learn Hands-Only CPR here: https://youtu.be/M4ACYp75mjU
Charlies colleagues were given the Heart Saver Award at 7:50 in the below Video
The mission of the American Heart Association is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. I combine my passion of storytelling and relationship building to further the mission.