Angela Schwab, left, and Alice Eerling, of Nanaimo, were presented with B.C. Ambulance Vital Link Awards for performing CPR that helped save the life of Larry Greenwood who suffered a heart attack in November 2017. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo women honoured for using CPR to save man’s life

Larry Greenwood calls Angela Schwab and Alice Eerling his ‘angels’

Two Nanaimo women have been honoured for saving a man’s life by performing CPR until paramedics arrived.

Larry Greenwood is back on stage and singing his praises to Angela Schwab and Alice Eerling for their quick action the night he had a heart attack.

Greenwood was performing at the Queen’s Hotel on Nov. 19, 2017, when he went into cardiac arrest suddenly and he fell to the floor.

“We just go to the blues,” Eerling said. “We go to dance and have fun. They have the jam there every Sunday, so that’s how we happened to be there.”

Both women are health care aides and are trained in first aid, but this was the first time either of them had to use it.

“You know, your adrenaline kicks in and you don’t even think. You just do it,” Schwab said. “You just go for it and you just do the best you can.”

On Monday the women were presented with B.C. Ambulance Vital Link Awards by Alex Mattes, B.C. Emergency Health Services unit chief, and Jason Wells, central Island district manager.

The Vital Link Award honours member of the public for performing CPR during an emergency.

According to B.C. EHS, for every minute that passes without help, a person’s chances of surviving cardiac arrest drops by 10 per cent.

“Without the quick and courageous actions by Alice and Angela, it’s very possible that Larry would not be here with us today,” Mattes said.

The women estimated they worked on Greenwood for about 10 minutes before paramedics arrived.

“They got there really fast, but it seemed like longer to be honest,” Eerling said. “I think we just kept him alive. They did the actual getting him back to being stable again. You could see he kept trying, but he just couldn’t.”

“We just kept going,” Schwab said.

But the women said the real reward is seeing Greenwood perform on stage again.

“It’s hard to describe,” Schwab said. “It’s so amazing that he’s standing there and that we got a chance to help him. It’s so rewarding to see that.”

“And also the fact that we got to make a really good friend,” Eerling said. “He’s an amazing singer.”

Greenwood said he remembers little of the actual incident.

“I got the first verse done and stepped back into the guitar player,” Greenwood said. “I don’t remember anything after that for a week … I was lucky. I had two angels sitting over there.”

Anyone trained in CPR and help improve the survival chances of a cardiac arrest victim by downloading the Pulse Point Respond App, which alerts anyone with the app of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest within 400 metres of their location.

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Angela Schwab, left, and Alice Eerling, of Nanaimo, were presented with B.C. Ambulance Vital Link Awards on Monday by Jason Wells, B.C. Ambulance Service central Island district manager, and Alex Mattes, Nanaimo south station unit chief, for performing CPR that helped save the life of Larry Greenwood who suffered a heart attack in November 2017. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

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