South Lake Tahoe man meets rescuer who saved his life in Carson City
CARSON CITY – A California man who had no pulse and was not breathing after he collapsed at the wheel of his truck earlier this month in Carson City has met the rescuer credited with saving his life.
Brian Cerny, 42, of South Lake Tahoe, who crashed into parked cars outside Gottschalk’s after suffering the heart attack, greeted Tom Crawford on Friday in his room at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center.
Crawford, the Carson City sheriff’s volunteer reserve commander, revived the carpenter by administering CPR at the scene.
Cerny then was rushed to the hospital, where he was in a coma for two days.
Cerny, accompanied by family members, threw a hand to his face and welled with tears when he was informed that he was technically dead at first.
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“This is too much to take,” he said.
Crawford said it helped that he was able to arrive at the scene within 15 seconds of a radio dispatch. He quickly knelt next to Cerny and began chest compressions. It was the first time he had performed CPR on a person.
“Everything worked perfectly for this guy,” Crawford said. “We were Johnny on the spot, that’s pretty critical. Once you start compressions, you get blood flow back to the brain.
“It was a collective effort. Certainly, the sheriff’s office can’t take credit for saving this guy’s life totally. We were able to assist, so that gave the fire department one extra person to assist while they were doing other things,” he added.
Before Crawford left the room, Cerny reached up from his bed and shook his hand.
“It was a pleasure meeting you. I hope not to see you again,” Cerny deadpanned as the room erupted in laughter.
“I wouldn’t mind meeting you again, but just not in that situation,” Crawford replied.
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