Ohio woman performs CPR, rescues co-worker on first day of work

A woman starting her first day as a saleswoman for a pool and spa store made a great first impression by performing CPR on her co-worker


Diane Smith
Record-Courier, Kent, Ohio

Marea Ludwig was starting a new job at Lighthouse Pools and Spas in Ravenna last summer, and noted on her paperwork she was a trained lifeguard and CPR instructor.

Shortly after she filled out the paperwork and set about stocking shelves, a co-worker called on her to use her skills to save the life of a co-worker who had collapsed. Ludwig did chest compressions until paramedics from the Ravenna Fire Department arrived and took over. She said first responders, as well as nurses at the hospital he was taken to, credited her with helping to save the man's life.

Ludwig was one of eight area residents recently honored by the Red Cross of Summit, Portage and Medina Counties during the Red Cross Acts of Courage awards.

While she said she is honored to receive the award, she said her real reward came on that Saturday in July.

"To me, I already feel like I won because I saved his life," she said.

Ludwig no longer works at Lighthouse, but the co-worker who collapsed that day, a man in his 30s, is back on the job. She said she has been told the man's condition is being watched by his doctors.

Trained to instruct babysitting, lifeguard and CPR/AED skills and is being trained in basic life support, Ludwig was training to be an EMT, but had to put those classes on hold because of personal circumstances.

Ludwig said she was supposed to start her job on a Monday, but her manager asked her to start on Saturday instead. Later she realized that if she hadn't started her job early, she wouldn't have been there to help her co-worker.

She did five rounds of compressions until firefighters arrived. Another co-worker was anxious, so Ludwig asked her to monitor the man's pulse, which distracted the woman and calmed her down.

The young man's father was on the scene, and thanked Ludwig for saving his son's life.

"They ask me, 'How does it feel to be a hero?'" she said. "I was just using my skills, what I was trained to do."

In 2004, Ludwig, whose grandmother is a nurse, learned the importance of lifesaving treatment when her father collapsed at work. His co-workers tried to save him, but because lifesaving equipment was locked in an office, they were unable to do so.

She has her own lifesaving kit, which she carries with her everywhere she goes. She encourages everybody to get training so they also can save someone's life if need be.

"You just never know where or when this can happen," she said

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©2019 Record-Courier, Kent, Ohio

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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