Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How cool is this!!!

Flagler Palm Coast High School student Chris Cooper saved his father’s life by performing CPR on him while his father was in cardiac arrest. But, his father says, he’s still not getting a car.

Chris Cooper, a 15-year-old Flagler Palm Coast High School sophomore, has never been the type to crack under pressure.

Coming home from school one day in late January, he found his father, 45-year-old David Cooper, complaining of stomach pain.

“He couldn’t get comfortable, moving (back and forth) from his room to the couch,” Chris said. “And he was burping incessantly.”

Chris went online to research his father’s symptoms. That’s when the chest pain and arm numbness started.

“We heard a crash,” Chris said. He ran in to find David on the ground, unconscious and blue in the face. He’d had a massive heart attack.

Chris yelled for his mother to call the paramedics; then he took the phone. At first, Chris was relaying instructions to her, but “she was freaking out,” he said. “She was too crazy.”

Chris took charge.

“I got this,” he told his mother, extending his arm out in front of her for space. Then he turned his attention to the emergency services operator on the phone.

“Give me a crash course in CPR!” he recalled yelling into the receiver. “(But) she was stuttering”, he said, “and I was like, ‘No time!’ … I was off the phone in five seconds.”

Days later, looking toward his smiling father, Chris recounted the event. “I pinched (your nose) right away. (I) made sure your chest rose. Made sure you were getting air,” he said.

Chris has no formal CPR training. He thinks maybe he learned the technique subconsciously from watching TV. “I watch ‘House,’” he said.

In three minutes on the day of the incident, the paramedics arrived and rushed David to the hospital, where he stayed in the intensive care unit for two weeks.

“I didn’t think of it as heroic, or saving anyone’s life,” Chris said. “I just thought of it as necessity.”

David’s heart had stopped beating for 31 minutes. One of his arteries was 100% clogged, according to doctors.

“Every hole had a tube in it,” David said. “And they even made some new holes. … (The doctors) said I … died three times on the table.”

David now has a Pacemaker and defibrillator built into his chest.

“I’m like robo-dad,” he joked. “Doctors said it was nothing short of a miracle that I was alive. (They told me), ‘You would not be here if not for your son. And if you were, you’d be a vegetable.’”

Currently, David is taking 17 different medications. His wife of nearly 20 years spent roughly 16 hours a day by his side every day he was hospitalized.

Back home, in the Coopers’ RiverGate community, the neighborhood reaction was “amazing,” David said. “Half of them — I don’t even know half of them, dude — were bringing over full-blown meals. It was absolutely heartwarming.”

The Coopers have only lived in Palm Coast for about six months. They moved here from New Jersey for the cheaper costs of living, so they could spend more time together, as a family.

“I feel like there’s still a lot of work for me to do,” David said, “as a husband, a father … But I’m still not buying you a car,” he teased Chris, who grinned. The city of Palm Coast recognized Chris Cooper at a City Council meeting Tuesday March 1. When Mayor John Netts asked if he’d like to make a statement to the board, Chris kept it simple.

“I didn’t really think about anything at the time,” he said. “It’s not a big deal, is how I thought about it. Just natural instinct. But I’m glad he’s here still.”