BROOMFIELD, Colo. — 36-year-old Julia Blechar was watching her daughter’s ballet class at the Colorado Conservatory of Dance in January when she suddenly went into cardiac arrest.
Luckily, Julia and her husband, Christopher Blechar, had just taken a CPR class a year and a half earlier and Chris jumped into action, calling 911 and beginning CPR.
Firefighters say that action helped save her life.
“It’s because my husband was there and able to do CPR immediately and the paramedics were able to show up in five minutes that I’m here today,” Julia Blechar said. “I’m so thankful that he was there.”
When emergency crews from North Metro Fire arrived, they continued treating Julia and then transported her to the hospital, where she stayed for a week before going home.
On Friday, the Blechars visited the fire station with a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies and Julia Blechar thanked the first responders who helped save her life.
Julia Blechar said she doesn’t remember anything from that day, so firefighters showed her the automated external defibrillator (AED) they used to get her heart beating again.
“I’m still missing a shoe, do you guys have that?” she joked.
According to the American Heart Association, only one in 10 people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive and firefighters said Julia Blechar is alive in large part due to the success of the “chain of survival,” which includes five important steps:
1. Calling 911 as soon as you think someone might be in cardiac arrest
2. Starting hands-only CPR within 3 to 4 minutes
3. Using an AED
4. Medical treatment by first responders
5. Advanced life support and post-cardiac arrest care at the hospital
Not only has Julia Blechar recovered — she and her husband plan to run in the BOLDERBoulder race on Memorial Day.