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A quick-thinking Indiana man with no medical training reportedly helped save his 4-year-old daughter with CPR — thanks to a memorable episode of “The Office.”
When Matt Uber, 46, found his daughter Vera Posy collapsed, his inner Michael Scott kicked in and he immediately performed chest compressions and breaths until first responders arrived, according to NBC’s “Today.”
“When I was trying to think about what do I know about CPR, (my mind literally went) to that episode of ‘The Office,’ where they are doing CPR training and doing the compressions to the beat of ‘Stayin’ Alive,’” the dad from Carmel told the show.
“It’s just what kicks in, what’s in your head, and that’s fortunate,” he added.
In a two-part episode of “The Office” called “Stress Relief” that aired in 2009, Scott, played by Steve Carell, arranges for a CPR class after Stanley Hudson suffers a heart attack.
“A good trick is to pump to the tune of ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees. Do you know that song?” the trainer asks the Dunder Mifflin employees.
“Yes, yes I do. I love that song. ‘First I was afraid, I was petrified …,” Scott sings, mistakenly starting to sing the Gloria Gaynor classic “I Will Survive.”
“No, it’s–Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive,” the trainer interrupts as she instructs the paper company characters.
Uber and his wife, Erin, recounted their daughter’s emergency to help others understand the importance of CPR.
“If you have a base of CPR and a knowledge of AED (automated external defibrillator) … you can change a family’s life, you can change a person’s life, which could change the world,” Uber said on “Today.”
The frightening incident happened on April 25, when Uber and Vera played tag before he said he “heard a thud.”
“She was just balled up against the corner. My natural assumption was that she had tripped and fallen and hit her head,” Uber said. “When I picked her up off the ground, she was just limp, her eyes were kind of rolled back.”
Uber yelled at his older daughter Nora to call 911 as he placed the 4-year-old flat on the floor.
“I observed that she was not breathing and she was turning pale,” he said.
When he recalled the CPR episode from “The Office,” he placed his hands in the right spot and began compressions to the beat of the Bee Gees’ disco classic.
“I remembered to lift her neck and make sure that she wasn’t choking or having a seizure,” Uber said. “I was panicked and it was chaotic. In the meantime, the wonderful 911 operator got on and talked me through the process.”
When paramedics arrived, they took over with CPR and used the defibrillator.
“On the second delivery of shock, she responded and we heard her little cry,” the dad said.
Uber’s wife told “Today” that he “had felt some guilt — was he able to deliver CPR appropriately? — and he got lots of attention about being a hero.”
She added: “Until he knew that it was delivered appropriately and adequately, he could not really rest.”
When Vera arrived at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, the doctors needed to find out why the healthy 4-year-old experienced cardiac arrest.
“There was never any indication of any issues, let alone serious cardiac issues,” Uber said. “I didn’t have any suspicion that we were dealing with a condition that led to have having cardiac arrest. I assumed it was something to do with her hitting her head.”
It was discovered that the girl had a mild case of cardio ventricular non-compaction, a muscular condition in which the left ventricle doesn’t form correctly – but the doctors didn’t believe this muscular abnormality caused he cardiac arrest.
“They were a bit perplexed by her symptoms,” Uber said. “We’d hear one thing and then be praying about answers for that and the next morning there would be a new piece of data.”
After a battery of tests, the parents were told Vera had calmodulinopathy, a rare, life-threatening condition that causes arrhythmia in youngsters.
Doctors recommended fitting her with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, a device that jolts the heart if it stops.
“She’s the youngest ICD placement at Riley’s Children Hospital,” Erin told “Today.”
“While we are hopeful of course that she is safe and protected forever, we also have a mission or a commitment, both, (to learn) rudimentary CPR — YouTube it — or to go through a formal training because, quite honestly, there may be a time that our baby will need it,” she added.
The young survivor has no memory of the scary incident.
“She is feeling normal, acting normal, happy, causing trouble like every 4-year-old should,” Uber said.
Erin said: “As far as her device goes, she’ll say occasionally, ‘Mom, I sure wish I didn’t have this power pack,’ which is what we’re calling it.”
She added: “We know that every second, every moment that CPR was not initiated, it increased her risk of neurological damage or non-survival. Don’t hold back on learning CPR.”
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