Student saves life after learning CPR at airport kiosk

He learned and practiced hands-only CPR just days before he resuscitated a student that had been struck by lightning


DALLAS — Matthew Lickenbrock performed hands-only CPR on another University of Dayton student with the skills he learned from the American Heart Association (AHA) Hands-Only CPR training kiosk.

In April, Lickenbrock, 21, was driving to a class when he saw a flash of lightning that appeared to hit the building where he was headed. Pulling into the parking lot, he saw a young man face down on the ground, reported the American Heart Association News.

Sean Ferguson, 23, had been struck by lightning, according to university officials. He was not breathing or moving. Lickenbrock immediately began hands-only CPR until he was relieved by Steven Pope, a nurse anesthetist who had been at the nearby recreation center. Pope detected a pulse and Ferguson was breathing by the time the ambulance arrived. He’s expected to make a full recovery.

Lickenbrock used CPR skills he had learned a fews days before at an AHA kiosk.

“It was kind of a blur — a lot of adrenaline,” Lickenbrock said. “[I was thinking] what did I do two days ago at the kiosk? One hundred beats per minute; compress two inches down.”

Lickenbrock took the CPR training after spotting the kiosk during a layover at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. “I went over just to check it out and maybe learn something,” Lickenbrock said.

The AHA CPR training kiosk includes a CPR manikin and touch screen. Users get Hands-Only CPR instructions, practice CPR and take a 30-second CPR test. The system then offers feedback on how deep a user pushed down on the chest, the number of chest compressions per minute and hand placement.

About 17,000 people have used the AHA CPR kiosk at the Dallas airport since it was installed in June 2013. Through a grant from Anthem Foundation, seven additional training kiosks will be installed in public places by the end of 2015, according to the AHA.

Ferguson was released from the hospital after recovering for five weeks from a broken jaw and severe burns over a third of his body. Ferguson’s parents told him what Lickenbrock had done to save his life.

“That’s when the magnitude of the situation really hit me,” Ferguson said. “For a couple of days I only knew that I was struck by lightning, and I had no idea I had gone into cardiac arrest. I quickly referred to Matt as my guardian angel.”

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