Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Jodi Sweet
First person 

My hero, my son-and the importance of CPR


Joshua Aaron Overturf: Marine veteran, firefighter, EMT, National Guard Army, training for Staff Sargent promotion and getting ready to attend paramedic school so that he can change his military occupational specialty to work as a helicopter medic. As if these accomplishments weren’t enough, my son also saved my life. 

I want to go back a little and tell you about what happened to me before this incident. On June 13, 2016, I had emergency surgery to fix a blockage behind a hernia on the right side of my stomach. I was in the hospital until June 22. I was home for just two and a half days when I went into ventricular fibrillation. 

Saturday morning, June 25, 2016, I died. I don’t remember what happened; my mother had to fill in the blanks for me.

My short-term memory has been lost, I don’t even remember the first surgery! It all felt like one long hospital stay.  

This is what I was told: My son, Joshua, and I were watching a movie on TV and he noticed that my breathing had changed. I started to turn blue and his training as an EMT/firefighter kicked in and he started to give me CPR because I was in cardiac arrest.

My husband, Dan, called 911 and the ambulance was on its way. When the ambulance paramedics arrived, they shocked me three times to get my heart back to a normal rhythm and also intubated (which Joshua did because the paramedic was not adapt at doing this procedure).  

I was transported to Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford and brought into the Cardiac ICU in grave condition. The cardiologist told us that if it weren’t for the actions of my son I would not have lived. He had the presence of mind to do what he was trained to do and did not let the knowledge that he was working on his mother deter him from doing what had to be done to save my life, even though my poor son had to see things that no son should on his mother!

Joshua Aaron Overturf, I gave you life on Jan. 24, 1990, and on June 25, 2016, you gave me my life back.


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