It was a seemingly normal day last April as Frank Inman, 76, helped his daughter, her husband and other family members move items at a Redmond storage unit.
After a few family members — some of whom live in Kirkland — departed from the third-floor unit, Inman and his daughter, Jessica, were momentarily left alone.
Jessica Inman said her father asked her to “hold on one second” before he collapsed. She said she didn’t know what was happening but immediately called 911, and an operator asked for her address.
However, the layers of metal in the storage unit blocked her internet access, so before rushing downstairs to the receptionist, she looked and saw her father was still breathing.
Her husband, Dr. Jeff Kennedy, was downstairs at the time.
He is an opthamologist, but said he received basic CPR training in medical school.
“As an opthamologist, that’s not part of my day to day, certainly,” he said.
As soon as he heard what happened, he sprung into action.
When he reached Frank Inman, the man wasn’t breathing, so Kennedy began performing CPR.
“Frank was on the ground and clearly not doing well,” Kennedy said.
Downstairs, Jessica Inman had relayed the address to first responders, who arrived within minutes.
In cases of cardiac arrest, like Frank Inman suffered, seconds count. Going even minutes without a heartbeat or breathing can lead to permanent damage.
Jessica Inman said her father started receiving CPR within one or two minutes after he stopped breathing.
“I think that probably really helped a lot,” she said.
Police and paramedics were on the scene in minutes, but it was Kennedy’s swift action that also saved the day.
The family was honored by the Redmond Fire Department at a Dec. 3 ceremony with a Gold CPR Lifesaving Medal.
They were presented the medal by firefighter and paramedic Josh Peeples.
“The quick actions and perfect CPR that was applied to Mr. Inman was the reason he is alive today,” Peeples said. “It took us a few minutes to get up to the third floor of this building, but the quick call to 911 and the immediate application of high-performance CPR bridged that time.”
The medal has been awarded to more than 28 recipients over the last five years in Redmond.
Kennedy said the whole experience was a little nerve-wracking.
“I’ve done CPR on people before but, you know, during all of your training it’s always in the hospital and it’s a much more controlled setting,” he said. “This is my first time out in the real world, if you will, not in a medical setting.”
Kennedy said CPR is a valuable skill for people to know.
“In the grand scheme of things, it’s really not that difficult to learn,” he said. “This certainly showed me that it’s even more important for more people to know about it.”
Because of the quick action, Frank Inman said he suffered no adverse effects from his heart attack, which doctors ultimately attributed to a side effect from a pneumonia medication he had been prescribed that blocked the electrical impulse to his heart.
“I’m blessed with a second chance at life,” Frank Inman said.