Family & Parenting

Man Credits Red Cross CPR Training With Helping Save His Young Wife’s Life

This is scary—he found her laying on the kitchen floor not long after she'd given birth to their son.

When Luke Benrud found his wife, Andrea, laying unconscious on the kitchen floor in their Wisconsin home, he knew he had to act quickly to save her life. Andrea had given birth to the couple’s newborn son, Aiden, just a few weeks prior. Her face was turning purple and she did not have a pulse.

CPR Training Comes To The Rescue

The horrible ordeal happened in August 2016 and Benrud recently opened up about it to People magazine in honor of March being American Red Cross Month. He credits the organization with helping him save his wife’s life.

cpr dummy photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

Benrud had to put their baby on the ground before using what he’d learned in CPR classes from the American Red Cross to begin giving Andrea chest compressions. At the same time, he called 911 while little Aiden cried.

“As I did CPR and talked to 911 with Aiden screaming, my adrenaline was going and I was in the moment not really processing what’s going on, just doing what I needed to do,” Benrud told People.

Although Benrud told the magazine he was terrified at the prospect of losing Andrea, he was able to retain enough calm to apply the life-saving training he had received. Benrud remembered that it’s important to apply enough pressure when doing the compressions, which he administered for seven minutes before paramedics arrived.

“Once I’m standing there holding Aiden watching someone else give Andrea CPR and hook her up to the defibrillator, that’s when it hit me, the gravity of the situation,” Benrud told the magazine.

A Previously Undetected Heart Condition

After shocking her heart into action again on the scene, Andrea was rushed to a hospital where she was placed in a medically-induced coma. When Andrea emerged from the coma three days later, she did not show any signs of brain damage and was diagnosed with a previously undetected heart condition called non-compaction syndrome, which had caused her to go into cardiac arrest that night.

Andrea had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) installed and is not expected to experience any further complications.

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The Value Of CPR Training

The Benruds’ story is just another example of CPR skills being used to save a life. The lifesaving technique can be used on everyone from infants to dogs, as was proven by a California firefighter who saved a pup’s life after 20 minutes of CPR following a fire last year.

Benrud told People he hopes that their frightening experience will encourage people to take CPR classes so that they can be ready when the unexpected strikes. You can sign up for CPR classes in your area through the American Red Cross website.

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Other Heroic Husbands Who’ve Saved Their Wives

Aaron Gutierrez just might win the awards for husband and father of the year. In January, the Fresno, Calif., man saved his pregnant wife from being hit by an oncoming truck.

The accident came at the end of a joyous day celebrating his son’s sixth birthday at a local restaurant.

Gutierrez, his mother, his wife and their three children were walking home from the bus stop on Jan. 5 after celebrating. Suddenly, a car ran through a red light and spun out of control, heading towards them. Gutierrez swiftly pushed his wife out of the way while holding their 1-year-old son.

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Gutierrez and his mother were hospitalized after the accident, but Gutierrez said he was just grateful that everyone walked away alive.

When Wayne Winters’ wife, Deanne, was suffering from stage 5 kidney failure and was in need of a transplant, he took matters into his own hands.

The 74-year-old Utah man spent his days walking up and down the street while wearing a sandwich board advertising his wife’s need for a kidney, as well as her blood type and their phone number.

In a desperate bid to save her life, he walked miles each day, hoping someone who could help would see his sign and contact him to give them both some good news. And, in November 2018, that call came.

“’We have a kidney for you, get down here!’” Winters told Fox 13 the hospital employee told him when they called to let them know that Deanne would be getting a transplant after two years of waiting.

Although the couple can’t know exactly how long the new kidney will prolong his wife’s life, Winters is not taking any time he may have left with her for granted.

“If she can have a good five years that would be awesome, we can have our life back,” he said.