WACO, TX — Don Hodges would probably not be with us today if it wasn't for his son-in-law David Bowers.
Hodges and his wife walk and exercise periodically. They have always been seen as a healthy duo thanks to Hodges' wife being a nutritionist. Nonetheless, the 72-year-old still fell victim to a heart attack.
Hodges was meeting his family for lunch when he and his wife pulled up to the restaurant he became unresponsive. Thankfully Bowers was already there, and when he heard his father-in-law was outside and in need of help, he quickly jumped into action.
"I started checking for pulses and that's when the reality seriously set in and that's when I realized he needed serious help," Bowers said.
As a respiratory care provider at Baylor Scott and White Hillcrest. Bowers has been familiar with CPR for 32 years, but he's never performed it outside the hospital walls.
"When you're out on the streets you're by yourself if you don't do it right they don't live," Bowers said.
Except he wasn't alone, he would soon be seen by one of his coworkers from the hospital.
"Dr. Falcone [wasn't] even supposed to be in town that day, they just happened to need to go to the post office and drove by and saw me doing CPR in the streets," Bowers said.
The doctor got out to help Bowers. The family describes this day as a movie moment. Usually when they meet for lunch, Hodges always beats Bowers to the restaurant but thankfully Bowers got their first.
"It was just by God's grace that all of this fell into place for him to still be here," Bowers said.
Hodges is recovering well and he now has a defibrillator in his chest. Always with a smile on his face, he uses humor to laugh through some of the pain.
"I feel fine, I have chest pains because somebody broke my ribs I wont say who," Hodges said while teasing Bowers.
Forever grateful, Hodges doesn't know where he would be today without his son-in-law. Although, Bowers doesn't see himself as a hero.
"Oh golly, how could you be more thankful than someone saves your life?" Hodges said. "I hear everybody tell me I'm a hero, but to me I've been trained to do what God gave me the skills to do my whole life and I was able to perform in the time of need."
When he fully recovers, Hodges wants to follow in Bowers' footsteps and get his CPR certification himself.
If you have never earned your CPR certification before, it's very easy. Classes are provided by many organizations in the community. If you think you got your certification once before and you don't have to again, check back to when you last took a class because a certification needs to be renewed every two years.
The American Heart Association changes the rules on this life saving effort every so often so it's good to stay up to date on the technique. The best thing to remember is the amount of compressions you should be performing, the American Heart Association suggests 100 beats per minute.
For more information on CPR certification and finding a class near you visit the AHA website.