Last Minute CPR & First Aid would like to honor their students that went above and beyond to learn CPR / Choking Techniques and then applied CPR / Choking Techniques on someone, thereby saving a life.

The student’s story is presented first with the Last Minute CPR & First Aid’s commentary story afterwards. This way, the reader can understand what the student was feeling while trying to save a life. The commentary story is to better give the reader an overall documentation as to what had happened.

Sure, “Be prepared, learn to save a life now” is my motto, but hey, Learn CPR or First Aid from whoever, to “Be prepared”, and when a emergency arises, “go out there and save a life”.

Survivors & Rescuers
Julia Gabaylo, Harold Ahuna, Victoria Ahuna, & Kristi Ahuna.

You Just Never Know When CPR Training Can Save A Life - By Harold R. Ahuna

My family and I were at the beach, attending a Girl Scout activity on Labor Day weekend in 2007.  My oldest daughter being a Girl Scout was enjoying herself that weekend like any other child that day.  It was the final day of a great and memorable weekend. She was playing with her friends on the beach, while the parents of the troop supervised and prepared lunch for that afternoon.  I decided it was a great time to take an afternoon nap for a bit.

Some of the parents prepared lunch for the girls consisting of hotdogs, sandwiches and drinks plus some other snacks for them to eat.  All things were going as well as expected.
Then all of a sudden I was awaken by my wife yelling for me to wake up.  She said Victoria needs help she is choking.  From a deep sleep I jumped to my feet from my bed, ran over to my wife outside on the porch to find out what was wrong.  She said I think Victoria is choking.  I called my daughter over to me to assess the situation.  I noticed that she was showing all the warning signs of someone choking.  She was gasping for air, pounding her chest and pointing at her throat, all the while not being able to say a word.

I immediately turn her around and tried to do the Heimlich procedure on her.  After a couple of unsuccessful attempts she started to fall straight thru my arms.  I could tell she was first fighting against me and then fighting for her life.  Then she started to fall thru my arms with no resistance. 

All the while there are others trying to help by yelling that she's still choking, you didn’t get it out yet and help her help her.  The Troop leader took action by calling 911.

I could see my wife starting to breakdown and cry cause I knew she had felt so helpless and unable to do anything for our own child.  She just kept on repeating help her help her.  Bystanders were now gathering around to see the emergency at hand. 

Once my daughter went unconscious and started to turn blue in the face, that’s when it hit me.  I needed to really help my daughter or she may die in my arms.  The training I received a few weeks prior at work all came rushing back to my memory.  You see a few weeks ago I volunteered and signed up for CPR training at my company when it was made available to the employees.  It has been quite sometime since my last certification.  My last certification was back around in the mid 1990’s.

Things then started happening really fast, as my daughter laid on the ground lifeless.  I proceeded in going through the steps of CPR, even though I never did get the blockage out of her throat.  I did compressions and breaths on her and continued as others tried to help me.  They were checking her for a pulse and even counting out the compressions with me, then also proceeded to do the same when I got winded and out of breath.  The bystanders really did a lot helping me to help save my daughter.  The whole time her troop leader is on the phone with 911 giving details of the emergency.

As time went on for a few minutes, we started to feel a little relieved as Victoria started to come around and breathe on her own again.  Even though it was a hard and labored type of breathing she was doing it on her own.  I talked to her to see how alert she was and other people were asking her questions to try and ease the situation. 

I then picked her up and carried her out to the road to wait for the ambulance to arrive.  The people around us were so helpful in making sure my daughter was as comfortable as possible.  They even brought out a chair onto the road and cleared the way for everything to move smoothly. 

During this time of waiting I was reminding Victoria that everything was fine and not to worry.  Basically I was trying to keep her calm and relaxed.  She tried talking to us but was unable to really make any sounds.  She answered by nodding yes and no answers to me.  Then all of sudden she started to cough again as she was seated.  I immediately got behind her and again proceeded to do the Heimlich on her.  After a couple of good thrusts I was able to get her to cough out the blockage which happens to be a piece of a hotdog.  I did a few sweeps of her mouth to ensure it was all cleared out.  A few moments later the ambulance had shown up and took over the situation.

Since then Victoria has made a full and 100% recovery.  She is also back to eating hotdogs again with no side affect or trauma.  She knows what had happed to her was an accident as simple as that.  I will never ever forget that day and even though till today I still don’t know all of those that helped out and helped me save my child from death.  I will always be grateful that they were there to assist me and my family in our time of need.  The training I received in CPR may seem fuzzy in details but when I needed it became as clear as day for me to remember.  My daughter truly experienced something you never wish on anyone and yet my family experienced something every person may take for granted, the preciousness of life for a child.  Since this incident my wife has now been certified in CPR training.  I have gone on to so called preach the words and importance of CPR training.

This is a true story of an accident in my daughter’s life and my family written in my own words.

Harold R. Ahuna




Harold Ahuna, his family and friends, were at a camp during the September 2007 Labor Day Weekend.

Kristi, Harold’s Wife, had cooked hotdogs.  Julia Gabaylo, Camp Leader, asked Victoria, Harold’s Daughter, and her friends if they wanted hotdogs. Julia walked into the cabin with Kristi and Victoria remaining outside the cabin.

Suddenly, Kristi came inside the cabin with Victoria and said “She’s choking, Harold she’s choking.” Harold immediately gave Victoria the Heimlich Maneuver while Julia ran out of the cabin to get her cellular telephone. Julia came back in and asked “Did it come out?  Did it come out?  I’m calling 911” and 911 was activated at 11:01 am.

Harold couldn’t relieve the airway obstruction with the Heimlich Maneuver and while Victoria’s brain was lacking oxygen, she fought with Harold as he brought her out onto the porch.  Victoria became unresponsive with her teeth clenching for a moment and then relaxing.  Harold, a bystander, and Bonifacio Gabaylo, Jr., Julia’s Husband, alternately performed CPR for about 2 minutes.  Victoria then awoke with spontaneous respirations and Harold positioned Victoria onto her side in the recovery position to minimize aspiration.  Victoria slowly answered Bonifacio’s questions appropriately.

Meanwhile, Julia was getting important 911 Dispatcher Instructions which included having someone wait outside on the road to guide the ambulance in and to not give Victoria anything to eat or drink because she might choke again.

Harold carried Victoria to the road and Victoria sat on a chair, in which, she started coughing weakly.  Harold performed the Heimlich Maneuver again and Victoria was able to cough out the hotdog.

The ambulance arrived at 11:20 am.  Victoria was admitted to Kapiolani Medical Center for 8 days. X-rays showed gastric fluids in Victoria’s lungs.  Doctors was able to suctioned out all the gastric fluids from her lungs. 2 weeks later, she happily returned to school.

I’ve been teaching CPR since 1982 and often I hear a student did CPR for the first time at work, but to hear that one of my students performed the Heimlich Maneuver and CPR on his daughter is remarkable.

Harold, without hesitation, had the courage to remember the skills that he learned from my August 2007 AHA Heartsaver CPR Worksite Class and applied it on his daughter, thereby saving her life.

Julia also played a role in this emergency by recognizing that something was wrong with Victoria, immediately activated 911, and obtained important 911 Dispatcher Instructions.

Thus, Victoria’s life was saved by CPR Without Hesitation and Immediate Bystander 911 Activation.


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