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Lenexa man’s lifesavers include his wife and man he mentored

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- You never know who could save your life. It could be your spouse or someone you mentored decades ago. For one Lenexa man, it was both.

There were emotional moments for Carolyn Hodges on Thursday as she listened to a 911 call from last May. Her voice then was seemingly calm.

"My husband walked in the door and he's just on the floor and I don't -- he's making funny noises breathing," she said to the Johnson County dispatcher.

Her husband, Glenn Hodges, was in cardiac arrest.

"I want you to pump his chest at the rate of at least 100 compressions per minute," said the dispatcher.

Carolyn Hodges started CPR on her husband.

"And kept going until they got there," she said.

Her husband says it's amazing what people can do in times of stress.

"Incredible focus, incredible focus of being able to call 911, initiate CPR," he said.

Paramedics took over and rushed Hodges to Overland Park Regional Medical Center where heart specialist Dr. George Pierson was called in.

"I asked what's the patient's name and they said Glenn Hodges, and I stopped for a minute and I said not Dr. Hodges?" said Dr. Pierson.

Yes, he was the same Dr. Hodges who had trained Dr. Pierson at the VA Medical Center 29 years ago. Dr. Pierson performed angioplasty to clear the blockages that had caused his mentor's heart to stop beating.

"This is the kind of event that makes my career whole," said Dr. Pierson.

Dr. Hodges says he's been extremely blessed.

"It's an unanswerable question -- but you say why me?" he said.

He wonders why he was fortunate to collapse where his wife could see him, and then have so many people on his chain of survival.
Those people were recognized on Thursday as part of heart month.

"Life has become extremely more meaningful," said Dr. Hodges.

Girl Scouts were there, too. Dr. Hodges' wife learned CPR as a Girl Scout leader. The couple is donating money so others in the scouting program can learn it, too.

Johnson County Med-Act wants you to learn hands-only CPR.    To schedule free training, call 913-715-1981 or e-mail aeickmann@jocoems.org