Highway hero saves life using CPR

Guest post by Laurie Young, Red Cross blogger

Ed Lochhead knows the importance of CPR because it saved his wife’s life.


In August, the couple was driving from Calgary to Vancouver for a much-anticipated vacation. On a remote stretch of highway in British Columbia, Ed noticed his wife, Janice, was suddenly quiet. He turned to find her unconscious and in cardiac arrest.


Desperate to save her life, Ed frantically pulled over and tried to wave down a passing truck. But the driver didn’t see him. Ed rushed back to his vehicle and caught up with the truck until it stopped. The driver, Vijaydeep Sahasi, immediately called 911.


Sahasi was told to remove Ed’s wife from the vehicle and perform CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation). CPR is an emergency procedure performed to manually preserve brain function until spontaneous blood circulation and breathing are restored.


Examining Janice, Sahasi could tell how serious the situation was.  There was «no breathing, no pulse, nothing,» Sahasi recalled.


He hadn’t performed CPR before and was afraid of causing injury. The 911 operator provided good instruction and reassurance while they waited for help.


«Being on the highway was a blessing,» Ed explained. Otherwise, he runs his own business and would have been at work, away from his wife when her cardiac arrest occurred.



Given their remote location, an ambulance didn’t arrive for close to 30 minutes. During this time, Sahasi continued to perform life-sustaining CPR.


«Somebody can survive that long with CPR. It’s a testament to CPR,» Ed said emphatically.


Janice was transported to Kelowna and then to Calgary by air ambulance. She was in a medically induced coma for 48 hours and has since slowly recovered.


Still shaken, Ed decided to learn CPR and encourages everyone to learn it. Click here to find a CPR or First Aid course in your area.


«I was running a little late that day and it must have been for a reason,” said Sahasi. “I am so grateful. They are happy together and that is my reward.»


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