From the Heart Special Report: CPR Saves Lives

By: Cassie Anderson Email
By: Cassie Anderson Email

She's 18 now and getting ready for graduation. The next step in life for Kelsey Neal and her parents. But she almost missed it all.

"They heard me collapse, so they went into my bedroom. They found me on the floor. My dad started CPR while my mom called 911," said Kelsey.

Five years ago Kelsey had a heart attack.

Kelsey's father, Brett Neal, says what happened within the next ten minutes saved her life.

"I was on the floor doing CPR when officer Lachley showed up with the AED. I felt real bad, I didn't even know he was a cop. I just saw these knees in from of me," said Brett.

The last time Kelsey's dad performed CPR was in a training class in high school.

Brad Peterson with the Nebraska Heart Institute says that's okay.

"The best thing you can do for that patient is depress the chest," said Brad Peterson with the Nebraska Heart Institute.

He says if there is an AED, use it. If you don't know how, the machine tells you.

The AED is so simple to use that just by knowing how to turn it on, you can run the AED in a safe manner," said Peterson.

All those elements came together.

"I try not to think about what would have happened. But the Lord was with us and everything we needed to go right, did," said Brett.

So Kelsey could have a normal teenage life.

"Not a lot has changed. I can't play contact sports. So, football's out. That's a bummer," said Kelsey.

As she prepares for a new chapter, Kelsey wants to change lives with more than just her story.

"I've just had amazing doctors through all this. They are the inspiration for me to go and work and be part of the medical field," said Kelsey.

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