A few months ago, I decided a CPR Course was important to me, my husband, loved ones, friends and not friends, and hopefully not to ever be used.

So, I gathered a group of friends and convinced them to join me in a CPR Course at the Fire Station on Highway 278 in Bluffton, through Capt. Lee Levesque (having heard very nice things about the way he instructed his classes).

So off we went, cookies in hand for all the hard working firefighters and looking forward to a great experience.

It is amazing what you can retain, even when you think you are not doing that! We all passed with flying colors and were so happy we attended this class.

Capt. Lee even offered to help with the positioning of our smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide plug-in, which, I might add, I took advantage of.

Fast forward to the experience that changed my life and certainly that of a gentleman that crossed my path at Okatie Clubhouse restaurant.

Today, Sunday, Feb. 25 at approximately 1 pm, I met a few girls for lunch prior to attending the Synchronettes Show at the Purrysburg Pool (in Sun City Hilton Head).

After sitting with a friend waiting for others to arrive, I noticed a man slumping over and ended up on his back on the floor of the restaurant near the hostess station.

I do not know why, but I jumped up to see what was happening and saw his wife bent over him, Gail the hostess holding one hand, and the waitress dialing 911.

No one else was doing anything. I could see he was not breathing. I bent down, saw his airway clear, saliva coming out of his mouth, and he did not respond to his wife speaking to him. I proceeded with CPR (I always loved the song “Stayin’ Alive,” which is the rhythm of the compressions I used on him).

Not too long thereafter, he took a gasping breath and started breathing and when his wife talked to him, his eyes fluttered open and closed. A gentleman from the restaurant appeared and took his pulse till the EMT’s arrived.

Once he started breathing, all I wanted to do was call Capt. Lee and thank him for the great instructions and tell him I am happy I retained all he taught me.

Point of this article is to encourage everyone who is able: take a CPR course. We are all getting older!

A minister who was at the restaurant picked up the check for my friends and me. Another gentleman asked me who taught me CPR and is scheduling a class for himself and his friends very soon for the course.

Everyone was thanking me and through it all, I only wished Capt. Lee could have been there to see that what he taught worked so very well. I came home and left Capt. Lee a message thanking him.

Karen J. Ehrlich lives in Sun City Hilton Head.