This morning, the Free Lance newspaper in Fredericksburg, Virginia published a cruise story with a happy ending. Entitled "Friends’ Actions Aboard Ship Save Woman’s Life," the article is about cruise passenger Patty Bliss who joined 25 other women from the Sheriff’s Office and government offices in Stafford County for a weekend getaway two weeks ago on Carnival Glory’s “cruise to nowhere.”
Shortly after boarding the cruise ship, the women were enjoying food and drinks on deck. Suddenly, Ms. Bliss slumped over in her chair.
The women observed Ms. Bliss not breathing. She had no pulse. Her skin turned grayish–purple. She had suffered sudden cardiac arrest, causing her heart to stop pumping blood throughout her body. “I thought she was gone,” said one pf the women, Sgt. Nancy Morin, who was also traveling with two daughters. Morin’s oldest daughter was certain that Ms. Bliss was dead. She began crying.
But Sgt. Morin and Detective Christine Hammond sprang into action. They initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation with Morin compressing her heart and Hammond blowing into Bliss’ mouth. The newspaper writes:
Bliss’ heart didn’t start beating on its own. Other women in the group asked crew members for an automated external defibrillator, a device that sends an electric shock to people suffering from cardiac arrest . . . .
. . . crew members weren’t responding, but instead “ran around in circles trying to figure out what to do.”
One of the women in the group then clapped her hands in the face of one crew members and told him to get the device “and get it now!”
By this point, Morin and Hammond reportedly had given CPR to Ms. Bliss for 15 to 20 minutes.
According to the newspaper, when the defibrillator arrived, a crew member shocked Bliss once, but the device indicated another shock was needed. When the crew member hesitated, one of the women pushed the button to shock Bliss again and again.
Finally an ambulance took Ms. Bliss off of the cruise ship to a hospital where the doctors implanted a defibrillator in her chest.
Ms. Bliss may have missed the "cruise to nowhere," but she was fortunate to fall ill in port around a group of women trained on how to save her life.