CPR training helps woman save husband's life - Tucson News Now

CPR training helps woman save husband's life

Gary and Kathie Brauchla (Source: Tucson News Now) Gary and Kathie Brauchla (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Kathie Brauchla woke up to a frightening situation on Sept. 29, 2012.

Her husband Gary's heart had stopped.

"She heard what she thought was me snoring and it was actually my last gasp," Gary Brauchla said.

Kathie said she immediately started performing CPR and called 911.

"(I) put into action all of the training that I had had over the years," she said. 

Brauchla said she learned CPR during her time working as a surgical technician but said she never thought she'd have to use it. 

The training, however, is what saved her husband's life. 

"A few minutes could have made all the difference," Gary said. "I could have been dead. I'm really grateful for Kathie. She's my hero."

After weeks of treatment and rehabilitation, Gary left Tucson Medical Center and made a full recovery. He even took up activities he'd never done before. 

"Eight months later, I ran my first 5K at 68 years old," Gary said.

On Saturday, he'll run in his 16th race and said the near-death experience gave him a new purpose. 

"I started reaching out to different towns and different communities and giving classes on bystander CPR," Gary said. 

He is the president of a non-profit called the Arizona Cardiac Arrest Survivors Group.

The couple is training as many people as they can. 

"Definitely thankful," Kathie said. "Had I not been in that field, I probably would never have had that training and would not have known what to do."

TMC and American Medical Response will participate in the World CPR Challenge. They will host training for compression-only CPR at various locations on the TMC campus from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 25.

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