Sunday, May 28, 2017

Four FilAm 'Good Samaritans' save man's life

SCREEN CAPTURE / KTVU
Four Filipino American nurses were interviewed for their quick thinking in saving a man's life.

STEVEN KIRSCHNER was having a heart attack when four Filipino/American nurses passing by quickly administered CPR to save his life.
“When he collapsed, his heart stopped. They’re the ones who started it again,” said Susan Kirschner about her husband’s heart attack at Oakland Airport.
Oliver Naca, Rainier Escanio, Marc Discipulo and Armil Vertudez — as well as with the emergency responders and airport personnel who arrived minutes later, were honored Thursday (May 25)  at the Port of Oakland headquarters in Oakland, Calif.

The Kirschner's were at the airport waiting to board a flight when Steven Kirschner began to not feel well. He said he felt pain in his chest and arm. The discomfort was enough that they cancelled their flight plans at the last minute.

As they were leaving the airport terminal, Steven Kirschner collapsed.

The four nurses were returning from a nursing conference when they spotted the Kirschners. They were not supposed to be there. “We had crossed the street by accident,” said Naca of the moment the group saw Kirschner collapse.

Naca said he “went to check his pulse, see if there’s any signs of life and everything just kind of kicked off from there.”

The four men, all who work at Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek, began to administer CPR until airport personnel brought a nearby defibrillator.

“We’re very grateful we were there at the wrong place at the right time,” said Naca.

“What if they had been there five minutes later?" asked Susan Kirschner. "What if they were going to a flight and had to leave? What if we had gotten on the flight.”


Although the four nurses who saved Kirschner's life were raised in the U.S., they are following a well beaten career path trodded by Filipinos.

Since it is Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, here is some background information about nurses from the Philippines:

The Philippines is the largest exporter of nurses globally – roughly 25 percent of all overseas nurses worldwide. About 85 percent of employed Filipino nurses work in more than 50 countries.

The U.S. has been giving special visas to the nurses from the Philippines to make up for the nursing shortage for decades.

Filipino nurses made up 50 percent of all foreign nurses, according to some sources. Today, there are 200,000 nurses of Philippine origin in the USA. Almost every hospital in America's big cities employ Filipno nurses. 

In his 2013 State of the Union speech, a Filipino nurse was lauded by President Obama during his speech:

“We were sent here to look out for our fellow Americans the same way they look out for one another, every single day, usually without fanfare, all across this country. We should follow their example. 
"We should follow the example of a New York City nurse named Menchu Sanchez. When Hurricane Sandy plunged her hospital into darkness, her thoughts were not with how her own home was faring – they were with the twenty precious newborns in her care and the rescue plan she devised that kept them all safe.”
Steve Kirschner said, “They performed perfectly and that made all the difference in the world for me.”
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