As children, we’re usually dependent on the adults around us to take care of us and help us navigate the world.
Part of the joy of childhood is that we can easily get lost in our own world, especially since we only have our own little worlds to tend to most of the time. Still, this isn’t always the case. When moments come in life where we’re forced to be adults before we’re ready, that’s when we really begin to grow up fast.
One of these such moments happened to two young brothers living in Saskatchewan, Canada.
The story began on a Saturday night in November, just like any other.
Grayson and Kian Wu, seven and 10 years old, respectively, were staying over at their grandmother’s house relaxing. After a little while, Grayson was hungry and wanted to ask his grandmother for a snack. He called out to her through the house but she didn’t answer. At that moment, the two brothers knew something was wrong.
Sure enough, they looked over and saw that their grandmother, Patti Chatterson, was unconscious on the couch.
After seeing that she wasn’t breathing, the two brothers were in shock.
They had just come over to have a sleepover and watch a movie with their grandmother and had not expected anything like this to happen. “It was so scary,” Grayson said. Although they weren’t sure exactly what was happening, the brothers knew they had to spring into action. Although many children wouldn’t know what to do in this situation, they had their grandmother to thank for preparing them.
As it turns out, their mother, Lee Chatterson Wu, had taught them CPR just earlier that summer.
Before springing into action, Kian and Grayson tried calling their parents.
Unfortunately, nobody answered the phone. After that, they called 911. “We gave them our address and then we told them our grandma was unconscious and not waking up and not breathing and had no pulse,” Kian said. “And then we checked her nose and she wasn’t breathing.” Both boys knew that they had no time to waste—so Kian sprung into action. He jumped onto his grandmother and started doing CPR, setting into the chest compressions.
The entire time, the 911 operator stayed on the phone and helped talk the boys through it.
Because of the boys’ quick action, they were able to resuscitate their grandmother.
Throughout the CPR process, Kian did his compressions hard enough to crack his grandmother’s ribs. About seven minutes after she was awake again, the paramedics showed up at their door. She told reporters at the CBC that if it weren’t for her grandsons’ help, she wouldn’t be alive—what she’d experienced was a cardiac arrest. “Cardiac arrest is a complete heart stop,” she said. “Everything shuts right down, there’s nothing working. Not too many people recover from cardiac arrest. They just don’t if they’re not witnessed.”
As it turns out, their grandmother’s recovery was the best possible outcome given what had happened to her.
As Patti Chatterson is a nurse herself, she explained what might’ve happened had her grandsons not been there to help.
“With cardiac arrest, there’s usually just three outcomes,” she said. “Death; you can survive it and be completely brain dead; or my recovery.” Because she’d spent so much time with her grandsons and taught them the CPR technique, she survived the harrowing experience.
For her part, Lee is grateful to her sons for saving her mother’s life as well.
After everything, Lee said she recommends that all families teach their young ones how to do CPR.
“I hadn’t shown them thinking they would ever need it,” she said, “But obviously, in this situation, it was important. It saved my mom’s life. They’ve done an amazing thing with it, so I would definitely be a big advocate of that.” While it can be tough to react correctly in an emotional situation like this one, Kian and Grayson did the right thing in the right way—all thanks to their mother. Though this story is a reminder of how important it is to be prepared for situations like these, it’s also a testament to the bravery of these two boys.
Well done to Lee, Kian and Grayson—and a swift recovery to Grandma Patti!
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