It’s often said that things happen for a reason. We are so glad that Lori Maes happened to Hitachi Vantara. Just last year one of Lori’s family members suffered a medical emergency when Lori was the only one around. “I went to pick him up for a party and I found him on his bed – I thought he passed away!” she said. He recovered fully after paramedics answered Lori’s emergency call, but the anguish of waiting for the paramedics to arrive was a turning point in her life. And in a lucky coworker’s life, though neither knew it then.
Determined to not feel helpless again, Lori learned CPR resuscitation and how to operate an AED defibrillator. She also joined the emergency response team (ERT) at Hitachi Vantara’s Santa Clara campus to gain real-world experience to augment the classes and workshops she had attended. “I wanted to be ready if another emergency happened,” she said. The ERT team is a group of volunteers who provide quick, local, first aid to anyone on campus who needs medical assistance. They stabilize the person until the local city’s emergency professionals arrive and take over.
On a recent day, the ERT team received the alert they never wanted to hear. A man was found unconscious at his desk and needed immediate help. The team members who were on campus that day arrived at his desk. So did the defibrillator. With memories of her earlier anguish, Lori took charge with both resuscitation and the defibrillator. Thankfully, the man revived. “I used the defibrillator exactly as I learned,” she said. “His jugular vein turned purple and he was alive! It was a miracle!”
Lori now leads the Santa Clara ERT team and has expanded training programs, added equipment and created a new sense of responsibility and teamwork. “I believe everyone is ready to encounter a real emergency,” said the woman who knows.
As you might imagine, the man she revived realizes how fortunate he was to have Lori on duty when he collapsed. Says Lori, “He’s healthy as a horse. Saving his life was one of the reasons I believe I am here on Earth.” We couldn’t agree more. And you can bet we all appreciate Lori and the emergency response team every day we go to work.