Oswego teen saves stranger's life with quick-thinking CPR

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A suburban teenager's quick thinking and CPR saved the life of a man having what doctors believe was a heart attack on her way to church Sunday. (WLS)

A suburban teenager's quick thinking and CPR saved the life of a man having what doctors believe was a heart attack on her way to church Sunday.

Alicia Alexander said she and her family took a route through a neighborhood they don't typically drive through to get to church, but it's a good thing they did. As they passed a yard, they saw a couple men leaning over another man on the ground. She thought it looked like he was in distress, and she thought she could help.

"I told my grandpa, 'What if he needs CPR? I know CPR.' And he was like, 'Ok, here we go,'" she said.

John Brickert, 67, was unconscious and not breathing. Doctors believe he had a heart attack; he'd already had several others and was planning on getting a pacemaker installed. Alicia, an 18-year-old high school senior, learned CPR over the summer when she worked as a lifeguard at Raging Waves Water Park in Yorkeville. She was even carrying a smaller version of a tool to help with mouth-to-mouth.

"I started doing compressions and then I got to mouth to mout, and I had my grandma help me hold the mask," Alicia said.

"She went to it, she knew just what to do. She couldn't have made us prouder," said her grandfather Michael Alexander.

Alicia said Brickert started to breathe and respond before paramedics arrived a few minutes later. They transported him to Rush Copley Medical Center.

Alicia has been to the hospital to visit him every day since she helped save his life.

Medical personnel said Alicia followed her CPR training perfectly. Brickert's wife said she is incredibly grateful to Alicia.
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