SURREY — Justin Drake never imagined that on his own birthday he’d be helping to give the best gift of all — life— to someone else.
The 29-year-old Surrey man was returning home after enjoying his birthday dinner with his brother Josh, 23, at 7:20 p.m. Monday when they saw a truck, with its driver’s side door open, sitting in the right lane of Highway 10 near 144th Street, A female jogger was on her phone, calling emergency 911 for the driver — a 66-year-old Delta man who was clutching at his chest.
The Surrey brothers, both trained in first aid, were among the bystanders and policer officers who performed CPR on the distressed driver until an ambulance came to take him to hospital, where he is reportedly recovering.
“I’ve never had to use that training until now,” Justin said.
It was a birthday the Drakes will never forget.
“Usually birthdays are for celebrating life coming into the world,” Justin said. “I guess this is a time where life decided to stay.”
When he and his brother stopped, he said, the man “hardly had a pulse, it was kind of in and out.”
Josh said the man had gone limp. “It was a bit intense. He was gasping for air, but he wasn’t breathing.” He and an off-duty Surrey RCMP officer pulled the man out of the truck and laid him down on the grass beside the road while the jogger checked his airways.
A nurse also stopped and helped, as did an off-duty ER doctor who was still in his scrubs. More police arrived, and an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was used numerous times before the ambulance took the patient away.
“It was a team effort,” Josh said. “Everyone did a good job.”
Surrey RCMP Sergeant Alanna Dunlop said the “quick response by the attending officers and civilians were absolutely vital to such a positive outcome. This incident also serves as another reminder to the public about how important it is to have basic training — you never know when a medical emergency may arise.”
Incidentally, Justin had been wearing a Superman T-shirt at the time.
“Funny enough, coincidentally I was,” he admitted.