Woman’s CPR training saves husband in cardiac arrest

Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 7:03 PM CST

FLOWOOD, Miss. (WLBT) - During American Heart Month, a young Rankin county couple shares the importance of CPR training. The working mother learned the technique which saved her husband’s life.

“I tried to shake him awake,” said Elizabeth Ann Howell. “I thought he was just having a bad dream.”

She awoke to her husband Tyler gasping for air and not responding. It was the middle of the night on January 26th, and what she learned about a year ago saved his life.

“In that moment, the training that I had learned from our Miskelly CPR class kinda kicked in,” said the relieved wife. “I called 911, put them on speaker phone, pulled him off the bed, and started doing chest compressions, and so I was on the phone with 911 for nine minutes before the first responders got here.”

Tyler, a physician at Baptist Medical Center, had gone into cardiac arrest. First responders shocked his heart back into rhythm.

“I’m just beyond grateful for this miracle, and being on the other side of health care, being on the patient side instead of the provider side, will certainly change the way that I practice medicine,” said Tyler Howell.

The internal medicine physician was healthy with no medical history. He was placed on a ventilator and spent a week in the hospital. According to the American Heart Association, 70 percent of heart failures happen at home.

“For us to be 32 and healthy like we never would have thought that this would be our story,” added Elizabeth Ann. “So we’re just thankful to be able to share with people the importance of CPR because nobody ever thinks it’s gonna be them.”

Tyler now has a defibrillator and returns to work at Baptist Tuesday. On the same day, Miskelly’s, Elizabeth Ann’s family business, will begin training all team members in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.

The American Heart Association offers Hands-Only CPR involving two simple steps, and anyone can learn in a 60-second video available at www.heart.org/handsonlycpr.

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