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Trucker Who Successfully Performed CPR Named Highway Angel

A British Columbia truck driver has been named the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) “Highway Angel” after he saved the life of a woman suffering a heart attack.

VijaydeepBack in August, Vijaydeep Sahasi, a commercial driver for Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Bison Transport, was traveling down a quiet stretch of Highway 5 not far from Merritt, in British Columbia, Canada. Sahasi eventually came upon a man hysterically waving at him from beside a parked passenger vehicle. Sahasi pulled over and was subsequently told that the man’s wife was having a heart attack.

Sahasi acted quickly, rushing back to his truck to call 9-1-1. He then rushed back to the passenger vehicle to find the woman in obvious distress. While talking with the 9-1-1 operator, Sahasi removed the woman from the vehicle, laid her on the ground, and then began to perform CPR. The situation was tense: it took thirty minutes for emergency responders to reach the remote stretch of highway and during that time the woman stopped and started breathing again several times.

Still, Sahasi never gave up, carefulling performing the CPR without cracking the woman’s ribs (a frequent problem when CPR is carried out by an amateur). When the woman finally reached the hospital, physicians told the man it was remarkable his wife had survived the ordeal.

“You’re really lucky your wife is alive, given that this happened in the middle of nowhere,” the doctors reportedly told the man. “Only about two per cent of people would survive cardiac arrest in such a remote location.”

Just as remarkable for the doctors was Sahasi’s expert-like performing of CPR. “It made me feel so good that the doctor said I did [the CPR] perfectly,” Sahasi said. “If done too lightly, the heart wouldn’t have started functioning. If done too hard, her ribs might have been fractured. Neither happened, and it is really, really rewarding to know she survived. I never expected this [truck-driving job] would take me somewhere like this.”

Sahasi, who has only been driving trucks for about a year, says his tight schedule almost prevented him from stopping to help. In the end, however, he recognized that “what goes around, comes around.”

“I was already running a little late, but destiny had planned something else for me that day,” Sahasi said.