Teen Saved Grand Canyon Visitor’s Life and Disappeared

The Grand Canyon can be a dangerous place to the over-confident or ill-prepared, but sometimes, even those in good health can be stricken with a random and life-threatening ailment. Ron Merle, an active and remarkably healthy 77-year-old man was visiting the Grand Canyon for just one night with his wife Mary when the unexpected struck – Ron was suffering a heart attack, and emergency services were still minutes away. The story of how he survived may shock you.

Ron Merle had no pre-existing heart conditions, and the only warnings that he may be in danger came in the form of some mild pain, difficulty breathing, and discomfort. As mentioned above, he was very healthy for his age, leading an active lifestyle. He and his wife were staying at the Maswik Lodge next door to their travel-mates, Dick and Leanne Preston, and the couple was relaxing and playing cards in their cabin when disaster struck. “Ron sort of fell into my arms so I started doing chest compressions on him,” Dick said.

When the danger of the situation sunk in, Mark left her Grand Canyon lodging to call 911 and find help. Along the way, she encountered a young man who, when questioned, revealed that he knew CPR and sprang into action. The unnamed teen walked right into the room where Ron was and proceeded to administer the procedure that would eventually save his life. He gave Ron CPR right up until the first responders arrived, at which point the professionals took over and the unknown teen disappeared into the background.

If someone has a heart attack, it’s important to…
– Call 911 or your local emergency number
– Administer aspirin or other needed medication
– Begin CPR only if the victim is unconscious
– If there is an AED (automated external defibrillator) nearby, follow the directions and use it

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But who was this young man? Officials at the Maswik Lodge set out to answer that question earlier this week by looking up who had paid for the room adjacent to the Merles’. The room was booked by the grandfather of the young man who saved Ron Merle’s life, a boy named William Mai who was on vacation with his family. He had taken a CPR administration class just a week before the incident, and officials at the scene remarked that the CPR administered by Mai was absolutely essential in saving Ron’s life.

The Merle family is currently reaching out to the Mai family in an effort to thank William and his family for their lifesaving and selfless efforts, and with the help of park officials, they may be reunited long enough to exchange thanks. At the time of print, the Merles had not received a response yet, but one thing is for certain: Grand Canyon tourism will never be the same for Ron, Mary, William, Dick, or Leanne.

Have you ever wanted to learn CPR? Now may be the time! There may be classes in your area and tutorials online, and if you’re going on vacation soon, your foresight might just save a life. Have any exciting or inspiring stores from one of your own vacations? Let us know in the comments section below!