Matt Uber is no stranger to child-rearing.
The Carmel, Indiana, dad has four daughters, the youngest of whom is 4-year-old Vera Posy. Still, all the parenting know-how in the world could not have prepared Matt for what happened on April 25.
He was at home playing a game of tag with Vera when her giggling came to an abrupt halt. He turned back to find that she had fallen over and was unresponsive on the floor. He rushed to her side, checking for injuries or any indication that she was having a seizure.
“I’m just realizing she’s going pale, she’s not breathing. She’s just not there,” Matt said. He instructed his oldest daughter Nora to call 911 and began using chest compressions and rescue breaths on Vera.
Matt is not trained in lifesaving techniques like CPR. He said his attempts to resuscitate his daughter were “spastic” and “panicked,” but he was desperate to help Vera. In lieu of official training, an episode of “The Office” popped into his mind.
“When I was trying to think about what do I know about CPR, [my mind literally went] to that episode of ‘The Office,’ where they are doing CPR training and doing the compressions to the beat of ‘Stayin’ Alive,'” he explained. “It’s just what kicks in, what’s in your head, and that’s fortunate.”
With help from the 911 operator, Matt was able to keep his daughter alive until paramedics arrived to take over. It took two shocks from a defibrillator to jolt her heart back into rhythm, and then Vera was whisked away to Riley Hospital for Children.
After extensive testing, doctors discovered that Vera had suffered a cardiac arrest due to an incredibly rare genetic condition called calmodulinopathy, which causes arrhythmia in young people.
“There was never any indication of any issues, let alone serious cardiac issues,” Matt said. “I didn’t have any suspicion that we were dealing with a condition that led to have having cardiac arrest. I assumed it was something to do with her hitting her head.”
Vera was fitted with a defibrillator implant, and her family will always have an AED standing by for emergencies. Now, Matt and his wife, Erin Uber, are hoping to share their story to encourage more people to learn CPR.
“If you’re a witness to an event like that and you don’t have the tools and the training… I got a glimpse of that and it was horrifying,” Matt said.
Erin agreed: “If you have a base of CPR and a knowledge of AED (automated external defibrillator) … you can change a family’s life, you can change a person’s life, which could change the world.”
When it comes to CPR, every second counts! Even though Matt didn’t have the correct technique, he was able to keep Vera going long enough for the professionals to arrive.
Finally, a story that justifies all “The Office” reruns we’ve been binging! We’re so grateful the sitcom helped Matt in his time of need, and we hope his message will inspire others to learn these vital techniques as well.
Share this story to spread the word. Learning CPR saves lives!
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