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MOUNT WASHINGTON — Hollis Cope may have been exactly the blessing Danny Perkins needed Aug. 30.
Calvary Christian’s Sunday evening services were going as usual on Aug. 30 when Perkins — who was in the congregation — collapsed and wasn’t breathing. It was a shock to everyone around because Perkins seemed fine minutes before.
“He walked in (the sanctuary) under his own power, sat down and I guess he seemed OK,” Cope said.
Several members of the congregation rushed to assist Perkins, but Cope was the one man who was equipped with the skills that most likely saved his life.
“I saw Danny kind of fall over, then the fellow on the other side of him got up and Danny fell completely over,” Cope said.
Cope quickly began administering Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation — better known as CPR, which were skills he learned through the Bullitt County Red Cross. Cope said he didn’t hesitate to help Perkins because he’d been trained to respond to such situations.
“I knew I was the one there most qualified to do something, if something needed to be done,” he said.
Cope said with the help of other congregation members, he got Perkins on the floor and began chest compressions. He realized the urgency of Perkins’ situation because he had been trained to recognize the signs of a serious situation. “He wasn’t breathing, had no pulse. He was pasty white, like the color people turn when they die. That bothered me,” he said.
Cope said that during the fourth chest compression Perkins began to respond. “I was going down on a full compression and when I did that, he drew a breath,” he said.
After regaining consciousness, Cope said Perkins awakened and wondered why he was lying on the floor. He attempted to get up, but Cope wouldn’t allow him. Cope and other church members talked with Perkins while awaiting for Bullitt County EMS.
“The other people at the church helped greatly,” Cope said. “It wasn’t just me.”
Perkins wasn’t available for comment because after receiving a clean bill of health, he traveled to Florida where he is spending time with family, according to Bullitt-Spencer County Red Cross Manager Mike Crenshaw.
Crenshaw said selfless acts like the one Cope performed aren’t recognized enough.
“We know it’s happening regularly out in the community. Every once and a while we find out the name of the person that did it. We want to take extra effort to recognize those individuals,” Crenshaw said.
Cope was recently recognized by Bullitt County Fiscal Court for his willingness to aid another citizen in need. Cope said couldn’t have responded the way he did without support from Calvary Christian’s congregation and the skills he learned from the Red Cross.
“I’ve seen where these skills can really be important, even on your family,” Cope said. “I would encourage at least one person in a household or family to learn the CPR method and Heimlich maneuver. These abilities do save lives,” he said.
Crenshaw said many people don’t realize how important CPR and other life-saving techniques can be. He said that for every minute a victim of a heart attack goes without CPR or an AED (Automated External Difibrilator), chances of survival is reduced by 10 percent.
Cope said he was thankful that he was able to use his life-saving skills to assist a friend.
“Danny is a great guy. He’s one of my best buds,” Cope said.
Anyone wishing to become CPR certified is encouraged to contact the Bullitt-Spencer Red Cross at 955-6259 or visit www.louisville-redcross.org.