He shook his head. “No, I don’t think so,” he replied.
“On the back it says, ‘Successful defibrillation and external massage’ — Does that help?” I asked.
He studied the photograph for a few more minutes. “No, I don’t remember any of that,” he finally said.
I imagine that in the life of a physician there are thousands of untold stories. Lives, limbs, trajectories changed in the course of a single decision or moment.
In January 1964, Everett Barrett didn’t die from a heart attack in Ethiopia. CPR and defibrillation saved him. I think my father had something to do with it.
Everett Barrett died two years later stateside. But during 1964-65, he worked for the fire department at the army base in Ethiopia. I can’t help but wonder if he saved any lives, too, during those years.
You know — lives saved because his life was saved.
The gift of life bestowed is a like a pebble thrown in a pond, sometimes with far-reaching ripples.
We never know how far those ripple reach.