Performing CPR in a timely manner can make a lifesaving difference when someone suffers a cardiac or breathing emergency.
So, when Peter Hanik was shopping with his wife Brenda right before the holidays at Baybrook Mall and unexpectedly collapsed, timing was everything.
Lucky for him, Brittney Frazier, a registered nurse at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, was nearby to immediately begin CPR.
“I was sitting down getting fitted for glasses when I heard a noise and saw him collapse,” Frazier said. “I ran over, went into ‘nurse mode’ and started doing CPR.”
When she realized he didn’t have a pulse, Frazier began yelling out for anyone to help, she said.
“Nothing like this has ever happened to me and I was running on adrenaline,” Frazier said. “This just shows that you always have ot be prepared because you never know what can happen.”
Hanik suffered from ventricular fibrillation, the most serious cardiac rhythm disturbance, according to the American Heart Association.
Shortly after Frazier began CPR, LensCrafters personnel and mall security got the mall’s public access Automated External Defibrillator, which was used several times before the Houston Fire Department EMTs and paramedics arrived.
Hanik was then shocked seven more times and given advanced life support before he finally regained a pulse, according to a news release.
“I am unbelievably grateful to Brittney for stepping in and performing CPR on me,” Hanik said. “If she had not been there, who knows what may have happened.”
A month later, Hanik returned to Baybrook Mall where he and Frazier were reunited for the first time since the incident.
Frazier, along with the others in the chain-of-survival, were honored in a ceremony hosted by the Houston Fire Department, which recognized her and thanked her for her heroic actions.
“It’s amazing to see him looking so great today — I honestly didn’t know if he was going to make it, so I’m thrilled we were able to have this reunion,” Frazier said. “We have patients come back and thank us from time to time, but this one was really special to me.”
So special, that Frazier believes it should be a lesson for everyone to learn CPR.
“It may seem like an eternity while you’re waiting for paramedics to arrive — even if it’s only a matter of minutes — but every second truly counts and it helps so much if someone is able to step in while the first responders are on their way,” Frazier said. “It makes me happy to see such a good outcome.”