Man thanks res­cuers

Cops, cit­i­zens hon­ored for sav­ing driver’s life

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By CARL HAMIL­TON ca­hamil­ton@ches­

Charles Rader and his wife, Diana, vis­ited the Ne­wark Po­lice Depart­ment re­cently to ex­press their grat­i­tude to some key peo­ple, face to face, even though they won­dered if mere thanks would be enough.

“How do you thank some­one for sav­ing your life? I wouldn’t be here to­day if it weren’t for them,” said Charles, a 64-year-old Elk­ton, Md., res­i­dent. “It’s hard to put into words. You don’t want to call or send a card. We wanted to thank them in per­son.”

The cou­ple made ar­range­ments to per­son­ally thank two good Sa­mar­i­tans and two NPD of­fi­cers who took swift, life­sav­ing ac­tion around noon July 16, when Charles went into car­diac ar­rest while driv­ing through Ne­wark.

Po­lice of­fi­cials iden­ti­fied the good Sa­mar­i­tans only as “Mr. Baf­fone and Mr. Jeppe” and the of­fi­cers as Cpl. Peter Barnes and Of­fi­cer Brian White­head. They also re­ported that Delaware State Po­lice Cpl. Richie, whose full name po­lice did not re­lease, as­sisted.

Charles is deeply ap­pre­cia­tive of the ini­tial CPR that Baf­fone and Jeppe per­formed on him, and he’s equally thank­ful for Barnes and White­head us­ing a defibrillator to shock his heart into beat­ing — all of which sta­bi­lized him just enough.

But Rader de­ferred to his wife to tell the story.

“Hon­estly, I don’t re­mem­ber a thing. I can tell you what every­one told me — my heart stopped at that point. It wasn’t a heart at­tack. Some­thing elec­tri­cal went wrong with my heart,” Rader ex­plained.

With Diana in the front pas­sen­ger seat, Charles was driv­ing on East Cleve­land Av­enue, head­ing out of town as they made their way home after shop­ping at the Lowe’s Home Im­prove­ment store on Ogle­town Road.

That’s when the car sud­denly veered across the cen­ter­line into the op­pos­ing lane.

“I said, ‘Charles what are you do­ing?’ and when I looked over, he was passed out be­hind the wheel. All I saw was the steer­ing wheel and brake,” Diana said.

From the pas­sen­ger seat, she was able to slow the ve­hi­cle, guide it onto the park­ing side of the op­pos­ing lane and stop. For­tu­nately, there were no on­com­ing ve­hi­cles, the cou­ple noted.

“I got out and was wav­ing my heads and say­ing, ‘Please help me,’ Sev­eral cars went by be­fore a man stopped and pulled into one of the drive­ways. He called 911,” Diana re­called, not­ing that ap­prox­i­mately 30 sec­onds elapsed be­fore he ar­rived and heeded her call for help.

Sec­onds later, a sec­ond man stopped to as­sist, Diana said. To­gether, she added, the good Sa­mar­i­tans per­formed CPR on her hus­band in­side the car. Then Barnes and White­head ar­rived, as did Richie sec­onds later.

“As Cpl. Barnes was re­mov­ing Mr. Rader from the ve­hi­cle, Cpl. Ritchie was driv­ing by and stopped to as­sist. Cpl. Ritchie started chest com­pres­sions, as Of­fi­cer White­head pre­pared the AED. A shock was de­liv­ered and life­sav­ing ef­forts con­tin­ued,” out­lined Lt. Fred Nel­son, an NPD spokesman.

Aetna Hose, Hook and Lad­der Com­pany EMTs and New Cas­tle County paramedics ar­rived and as­sumed care of Charles, he re­ported.

Charles was taken to Chris­tiana Hos­pi­tal, where, he was placed in a med­i­cally-in­duced coma and was put on a ven­ti­la­tor in the in­ten­sive care unit. After the coma was halted sev­eral hours later, Charles was able to re­spond to com­mands, such as giv­ing a thumbs up.

“He had brain ac­tiv­ity,” Diana said.

Charles re­mained in the hos­pi­tal for a week and, after doc­tors di­ag­nosed the prob­lem that caused his car­diac ar­rest, a pro­ce­dure was per­formed to place a defibrillator in his body.

“If it hap­pens again, the defibrillator will give him a shock to get his heart­beat back to nor­mal,” Diana said.

Back at home and on his feet again, Charles wanted to per­son­ally thank the peo­ple who saved his life, a sen­ti­ment shared by Diana.

“It was very im­por­tant to meet the guys who helped. I’m so glad this hap­pened in Ne­wark,” Diana said, ex­plain­ing that it might have been harder to flag down help on a ma­jor high­way on which the speed limit is higher.

The thank-you meet­ing at NPD’s sta­tion lasted about 30 min­utes.

“It was emo­tional for me. But it got a little light-hearted. Some things came out that were a little funny,” Charles said, not­ing that one of the good Sa­mar­i­tans re­vealed that the CPR tech­nique he used was one he had learned in sev­enth grade, many years ago.

Charles said he has great grat­i­tude for the good Sa­mar­i­tans and of­fi­cers who save his life, com­ment­ing, “I would do any­thing for any of them. They wouldn’t even have to ask twice.”


Charles Rader (red shirt) and his wife, Diana (at his side), re­unite with the two Ne­wark Po­lice Depart­ment of­fi­cers and the two good Sa­mar­i­tans who saved his life when he went into car­diac ar­rest last month.

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