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Thanking those who helped save her life

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Thanking those who helped save her life

Sue Bloodgood embraces Julia Bylow, who was the first to administer CPR during the Nov. 19 incident.

VINCE REMBULAT/The Bulletin


POSTED December 9, 2009 3:06 a.m.

Sue Bloodgood is lucky to be alive.

The East Union High health clerk suffered a cardiac arrest on Nov. 19, but fortunately she had several heroes come to her rescue.

“If it wasn’t for Julie, it would have been a different situation,” said Mike James, East Union High football coach.

On that morning, Julia Bylow, who, as a tennis, basketball, and assistant softball coach is trained in CPR, was on patrol as campus monitor when a fight broke out.

She was in the attendance office doing the necessary paper work on the incident and noticed Bloodgood at her desk.

“Sue was not feeling well,” Bylow recalled. “She had been fighting a cold for several days.”

The next moment Bloodgood, who had been talking, was slumped over her desk.

A coworker tapped her on the shoulder and Bylow noticed that Bloodgood wasn’t breathing.

“I just reacted, for better or worse,” she said.

The procedure was still fresh in Bylow’s mind. It was just two weeks earlier that she was in a CPR class taught by JROTC instructor Karl Knutsen, who is certified by the local Red Cross.

 “I had taken CPR classes before but that was sometime ago,” Bylow said.

James and Knutsen were alerted to the situation. Both noticed the commotion in the office but were unaware of the victim’s identity.

“Oh, my God, it’s Sue,” James said.

He and Knutsen provided assistance by performing chest compressions and rescue breathing. They continued to administer CPR on Bloodgood until the arrival of Manteca District Ambulance paramedics, Jon Mendoza and Keith Danel.

“It was quality CPR that saved her,” Mendoza said.

Bloodgood was whisked to nearby Kaiser Permanente and later to Doctors Hospital of Modesto. It was later discovered that she had genetic heart defect resulting in a collapsed artery and, according to her husband, Scott, needed three stints.

“I’m feeling stronger and stronger by the day,” said Sue Bloodgood at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

She and those who came to her rescue were recognized during Superintendent Jason Messer’s reports.

“These are the true heroes among us,” he said.

Added Caroline Thibodeau, director of health services: “Quite often CPR is not started soon enough or performed effectively enough to preserve cognitive abilities, normal brain functions, and continued life. Because of the immediate action of performing flawless CPR, Julia, Mike and Karl provided the opportunity for Manteca District Ambulance paramedics Jon and Keith to continue life-saving measures.

“This allowed Sue’s life to be saved and also the quality of her life preserved.”

Sue Youngblood is looking forward to returning to work. She’s up and about and even stopped by the office last week to further show her appreciation to her colleagues.

Janine Brown of the local Red Cross also acknowledged the efforts of Bylow, James and Knutsen, nominating the three for San Joaquin County Hero honors. The event is scheduled for April.

“If it wasn’t for (Bylow, James, and Knutsen), Sue wouldn’t be here today,” Scott Bloodgood said.

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