Two Brave Hanyangians Saving Lives
Lee Mok-wang (Division of Sport Science, 3rd year) and Lee Beum-hee (Chinese Language & Literature, 1st year)
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Stepping into emergency situations requires a great deal of courage and training. This week, News H met two of the brave lions of Hanyang, Lee Mok-wang (Division of Sport Science, 3rd year) and Lee Beum-hee (Chinese Language & Literature, 1st year). Both students saved a man’s life by operating cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Q1. Could you explain the situation when you found the patient?
Beom-hee: I was on patrol in the Dongdaemun area with a police lieutenant as usual when a couple walking in front of us reported the patient. The man was laying on the ground and his body was stiff, breath being short. His eyes were flipped, so I immediately felt something was wrong with him.
Mok-wang: An evening before Memorial Day, I went to Korea Integrated Freight Terminal for a one day part time job. While I was working, a man about five meters away from me collapsed while grabbing a bar. Nobody knew he was having cardiac arrest. We all just thought he was taking a break. I had my eyes on him because I felt something was going on. Then I realized his breath was abnormally rapid and deep.
Q2. Why were you around the area?
Beom-hee: I am serving as a tourist police, and a tourist policeperson patrols tourist attractions such as Dongdaemun, Myung-dong, and Hongdae in rotation. I have never seen a person passed out on the ground on my past patrols, though.
Mok-wang: I was working in the terminal as a daily part timer. I was planning to donate the daily wage to the Ansan Shalom Welfare Center because I always wanted to share with people in need. I find it very lucky for someone who can perform CPR to be there at the moment to save a man’s life.
Q3. What was the first thought that came into your mind?
Beom-hee: To be honest, I was scared at first. I am a policeperson but I have never seen anyone like that. But the uniform gave me a big sense of responsibility.
Q4. What were the people around you doing at the time?
Beom-hee: The police lieutenant that I was accompanied with told me that we have to tilt the patient’s head to open the airway. That’s when we realized his head was bleeding. As there were no more people than us and the initial reporters, I asked them to call for the ambulance. But they were already calling. The couple explained the situation to the paramedic on the phone and told me what he said.
Mok-wang: They were in a state of panic, not knowing what to do. I asked a person to call the ambulance while performing CPR. It took about 10 to 15 minutes for the ambulance to come.
Q5. How long did you operate CPR? What thoughts did you have during the operation?
Beom-hee: It took about four to five minutes, but I wasn't so sure. Performing CPR was harder than I thought because I had to put all my weight to my arms. During the operation, the patient’s wife and young daughter came and were crying. Looking at his family being so worried, I couldn’t stop.
Mok-wang: I performed for about 10 to 15 minutes, and it was tiring. But, because I major in sports, I work our regularly, and I think it helped a lot.
Q6. When did you know that the patient would be okay?
Beon-hee: As I was performing CPR, right before the ambulance arrived, the patient’s eyes came back to a normal position, and he was able to breathe on his own. I could feel he was coming back. I was so relieved. Because for the past four minutes of operation, he did not move or react at all. I was also frantic at that time, but I still remembered hearing an old gentleman saying, ‘oh, he’s alive now.’
Q7. When did you learn how to perform CPR?
Beom-hee: I learned CPR in the army recruits’ training center. I couldn’t remember everything I learned at the moment, but I did everything that I remembered.
Mok-wang: I learned it for the first time when I entered the military in the army recruits’ training center. After I was discharged from the military, I had an opportunity to learn once again in school.
Q8. Did you get in contact with the patient after they got better?
Beom-hee: Unfortunately I didn't. About two weeks after the incident, I heard that he was a professor in Macau through a news article, so I tried to find his contact on the university homepage. However, I could not find him. I did ask for his contact in the hospital when I saw him for the last time, but his wife told me they don’t have any contact in Korea.
Mok-wang: I did not personally get in touch with him, but I heard that he is living in a tough environment. I am not expecting any thanks because I did what I had to do. I just wish he gets well soon.
Q9. Is there a thing you would like to mention to others?
Beom-hee: I would like to say something to the people who will learn CPR in the future. You might wonder if you will ever perform CPR in your life, but unexpected things happen in life in unexpected moments. I recommend you teach CPR to your family members, as anyone can have cardiac arrest, even at home.
Mok-wang: Please pay attention during the CPR education. Many people disregard the precious education and let it pass by. However, if you learn the operation properly, someday you will be able to handle emergency situations well. We need to be conscious that cardiac arrest can happen to your family and friends.
Kim So-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kim Youn-soo and Park Young-min
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