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When pools or open water put an individual in the path of a drowning death, an able-bodied bystander responds to a life-threatening situation as he/she is able. When that bystander is a physician, the knee-jerk, swift response instincts of one’s medical training can play a tremendous role in preventing a fatal outcome.

At an early June family pool party, UNC Anesthesiology Assistant Professor Elisa Lund, MD, was watching her daughter play in the water when she noticed a floating, face-down teenager not moving and starting to sink. Jumping in to pull the lifeless teen to the edge, Dr. Lund and two other physicians at the party administered repeated CPR chest compressions that took several minutes to revive eighth-grader Javen Li into breathing.

Dr. Lund noted: “The moment that he started breathing again, I think I was able to breathe myself. …. Javen happened to be saved by three physicians, but I want people to understand that it doesn’t take a physician to save someone from drowning. So much about drowning comes down to prevention.”

To see this CBS17 news story spotlighting one of many UNC Health’s many healthcare heroes across North Carolina, click HERE.