Surprise award, patient reunion bookend Heart & Stroke Walk rally at Meridian Park
“I’m a nurse. I have taken care of many, many patients who have been affected by cardiovascular disease. So, my patients are my ‘Why’” – Kirstyn Rossman
Kirstyn Rossman, Assistant nurse manager, at Legacy Meridian Park hospital is passionate about healthy hearts. She is the 2018 American Heart Association Heart and Stroke Walk Team Coach for the hospital and an advocate for everyone to learn Hands-Only CPR.
It was Rossman herself who performed life-saving CPR on fellow Portland Marathon runner, Dave Brenner. Just after mile-15, Brenner suffered a cardiac arrest. She saw Brenner collapse, “I knew he was in trouble,” Rossman recalls. Brenner is alive today thanks to Rossman and all the others who helped him that day.
Watch: Video of reunion where Rossman and Brenner finally meet – Oct 2017 (KGW) (KPTV) (KOIN) (KATU)
February marks the annual American Heart Month as a time to raise awareness about heart health and cardiovascular disease. To mark the occasion, Legacy Meridian Park hosted a special event where staff and guests shared important information including the ‘Chain of Survival’, a Hands-Only CPR lesson and demonstration, and statistics about cardiac survival rates.
Jan Lee, Public information officer, from Metro West Ambulance kicked off the event outlining the steps in the chain: Early intervention, calling 911, early CPR, early defibrillation, and advanced care at the hospital. “The most important people involved is – everyone, because you never know when a cardiac arrest event will happen,” says Lee. Astin Mills, an ICU nurse at Meridian Park shares that, ‘My ‘Why’ is that I take care of a lot of people who don’t have a great chance to begin with.” She then walked the audience through a Hands-Only CPR lesson showing just how quick and easy it is to learn.
Rossman continues to share that her husband and nearly 2-year-old daughter and fellow runner Dave Brenner are her "why." As Allyson Anderson, Legacy Meridian Park President, commends Rossman on her efforts that day, she announces the surprise – Dave Brenner has secretly flown in from Breckenridge, CO, to be here today for this special event. But the surprises don’t end there. Rossman is presented with the American Heart Association HeartSaver Hero Award. Dave Brenner then receives a special surprise as he is presented with his Portland Marathon Finisher medal and race shirt. A joyous and emotionally charged event that started with one simple act that saved a life. Erik Sonnenberg, one of the Metro West paramedics summed it up best when he said, “It was probably the best [bystander] CPR that I’ve ever seen on an incident before.” We couldn’t agree more.
See more photos on the Legacy Health Facebook album and watch the Facebook video of the event. Watch news coverage of the event at KGW News, KPTV Fox12 News, and KXL Portland radio.
According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 people suffer cardiac arrest each year. By providing Hands-Only CPR, you can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. Watch this Legacy Health video to learn Hands-Only CPR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U-1gLv0jwQ. To learn more about the 2018 Heart & Stroke Walk, please visit: www.pdxheartwalk.org