FARGO — It's a family photo none of them ever expected to take.
But at a ceremony Thursday, Nov. 14, Amanda, Skyler and Chase Monson received the prestigious F-M Ambulance Citizens Lifesaving Award for saving their father from sudden cardiac arrest.
Last month, Greg Monson was watching Thursday night football when his life changed forever. The 59-year old says he does not even remember hitting the floor. His sons were home at the time but on different floors.
"I just stood up to grab a glass of water and that was it," he recalled. "I had no symptoms, no signs and that is the scary part of the whole thing."
Chase said he and his brother heard a “big bang,” and then rushed to their dad's side to immediately start performing CPR.
"We didn't even have a chance to think we were doing it on our dad," Chase remembers.
The brothers learned the life-saving technique this summer at their lake house, sacrificing a fun day in the sun to learn more about what their older sister does as a traveling nurse. That day, she spent hours with her brothers going through a CPR course.
"I just thought it would be a good idea that they are well versed in case something happens," she said.
Amanda's advice for performing CPR is singing the song “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees.
"When you are doing compressions you can sing that song to the beat," Chase explained.
Thanks to several minutes of CPR by Chase and Skyler, and a shock from a defibrillator by EMTs, their dad was conscious by the time he was put into the ambulance.
The brothers will never forget the words the doctor told them at the hospital: "You two saved your dad's life.”
“We were in disbelief," said Skyler.
"We never knew our dad was going to have a heart attack, and neither does anyone else," said Chase.
About 10% of people who go into cardiac arrest survive. FM Ambulance has kits you can borrow to learn CPR in just a matter of minutes, though becoming CPR certified requires a course that takes a few hours.