EUREKA, Mo. – Ken Hamilton is lucky to be alive. The 56-year-old surveyor was out on a job in Eureka last month when the Fenton man collapsed and stopped breathing. First responders with the Eureka Fire Protection District say he went into full cardiac arrest.
“He was a dying man,” said Eureka Fire Protection District Div. Chief Scott Barthelmass.
Hamilton is alive thanks to a chain of events that includes two bystanders with CPR knowledge rushing to his aid. Emma Petry is a nursing student who was walking by and noticed Hamilton collapsing.
She was joined by Eureka businessman Jerry Kirk who alternated with Petry performing chest compressions. Kirk is a former first responder and said Hamilton was very blue in the face.
“There was no breathing,” said Kirk. “We stopped to check his pulse and there really wasn’t anything.”
First responders arrived within 3 and a half minutes. They continued CPR and used a defibrillator to save Hamilton’s life. He was taken to an area hospital and has since been released.
“They kept the blood flowing through my body long enough for the emergency ambulance to get there and the paramedics,” said Hamilton.
“I think about Kenny and his family a lot,” said Petry. “They’ve been in my prayers a lot.”
“People stepped up, our paramedics did an outstanding job, the hospital did a great job,” said Barthelmass.
“It really was good timing with everyone being there and God really had placed people there at a good time,” said Petry.
Hamilton said in addition to being grateful to all those involved, he takes comfort in being reminded there are good people willing to help when help is needed. He encourages everyone to learn CPR.
Barthelmass said the case highlights the difference someone can make when they know CPR. First responders also encourage anyone with CPR training to download the Pulse Point app.
The app can send a notification when someone nearby is in need of CPR. Download the PulsePoint app here.
Many different agencies offer CPR training including the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association.