Woman uses CPR to save father’s life

  • Bruce Symington, left, Jaden Chiang and Kristi Chiang. Submitted photo

Recorder Staff
Published: 1/12/2018 10:45:12 PM

GREENFIELD — Kristi Chiang had just finished dinner and was downstairs putting her 7-year-old son to bed when her mother bellowed for help.

Her dad was on the floor, saying he was having a heart attack.

Chiang rushed upstairs to find her father, 72-year-old Bruce Symington, blue in the face and not breathing. Her mother, Nancy, called 911 and began to talk with a dispatcher, who said CPR had to be administered immediately. Kristi, a former nursing student, performed the emergency procedure for roughly 15 minutes until ambulances arrived at the Bernardston Road house.

“The next thing I know, we’re in the hospital at midnight,” Kristi, 29, recalled this week as preparations were being made to bring her father home from the hospital, where he has been recuperating. “They said, ‘It’s amazing that he’s still alive.’”

Nancy Symington is certain Kristi’s heroic actions saved her father’s life.

“I thought he was dead,” Mrs. Symington said of her husband. “His eyes had rolled back and everything.”

Mr. Symington is now recovering at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, one week after his daughter saved his life. His daughter said he had a pacemaker installed and he could be released as soon as today.

“They did an X-ray this morning to make sure wires were implanted in the right places,” Mrs. Symington said on Friday.

Chiang, who works in a special education room at Conway Grammar School, said she learned CPR during the year and a half she was enrolled in a nursing program at Becker College. This was the first time she had ever used the emergency procedure in a real-life situation. She said she gets recertified every year because she feels it is important, though it is not required for her job.

“I don’t have to, but I like to,” she said, adding that her decision to do so has truly paid off. She also said she recommends everyone receive CPR training.

“It’s definitely worth it,” she said.

Reach Domenic Poli at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 258.
On Twitter: @DomenicPoli


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