Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear Dr. Sanjay Gupta report on a near-death experience. Tonight AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
Editor's Note: Below is an excerpt from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta's new book, "Cheating Death: The Doctors and Medical Miracles that Are Saving Life Against All Odds" published by Wellness Central, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing. The following is from Chapter Two: A Heart-Stopping Moment.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/10/12/cheating.death.excerpt/art.gupta.book.publisher.jpg caption="Cheating Death: The Doctors and Medical Miracles that Are Saving Lives Against All Odds," just hit store shelves."]
Sanjay Gupta, M.D.
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent
Mike Mertz was driving home, an hour after finishing his run as a school bus driver in Glendale, Arizona. He told me he doesn't remember why he didn't come straight home from work that day. He thinks that maybe he went for a jog. A trim fifty-nine years old, Mertz enjoyed a two- or three-mile run several days a week. Maybe he was looking for a cheaper gas station than the one on his usual route or was just trying to avoid taking his Saturn over a nasty set of new speed bumps. Whatever the reason, whatever route he wandered, it brought Mertz not to the usual entrance of his townhome complex, but the back driveway. The change in routine may have saved his life.
Corey Ash, a UPS driver, was making deliveries that Wednesday afternoon, when he heard a terrible engine noise. Thinking the sound was underneath his own hood, he pulled over. Hopping out, Ash immediately realized that it was coming from a Saturn almost directly across the street.
It was an accident scene. The small silver car was piled up against a palm tree, the engine revving at top speed. The only thing keeping it in place was a stucco wall a few feet from the tree; the car was wedged between the two. Racing over, Ash could see that the driver had his eyes closed and seemed to be unconscious. The driver's foot was wedged against the accelerator. Ignoring the chance that the car might break free and crush him, Ash reached across the slumped body and turned off the ignition. He dragged Mertz out of the car and laid him on the ground. After dialing 911, Ash started CPR the way he'd learned during an Air National Guard training exercise just two months before.
Filed under: Dr. Sanjay Gupta
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