“I Think These Strangers, Whoever They are, Might be Really Gratified to Know that Their being So Responsible and So Willing to Help has Really Made a Big Difference in Our Lives”

On 29 June 2012, Gordon McCaw, age 60, had a heart attack while riding in a car near Dunbar and 28th in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his partner, Elaine Bougie Gilligan. She called 911 and was told to take him out of the car so she could lay him on his back, but she was not strong enough to lift him. She appealed for help from two male passersby and they got Mr. McCaw out of the car and gave him CPR until emergency workers arrived and took him to Vancouver General Hospital. The two male passersby saved Mr. McCaw’s life. Ms. Gilligan said, “The doctor did keep stressing … that there’s no doubt that the CPR administered on the street before the emergency responders got there are a good part of the reasons for his excellent outcome.” She added about the two Good Samaritans, “I think these strangers, whoever they are, might be really gratified to know that their being so responsible and so willing to help has really made a big difference in our lives.” Ms. Gilligan sent a thank-you letter to the Vancouver Courier: “Gord is very grateful to the strangers who gave him CPR and wishes he knew who they are. He and I give them our thanks, and are also very grateful to all the competent, sensitive and articulate VGH emergency and cardiac staff.” Mr. McCaw recovered and said, “When I’m back running on all cylinders, I definitely will make a priority to learn CPR … I’d like to be able to pay it forward.”

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