In August, Vijaydeep Sahasi, a Bison truck driver was on a remote stretch of Highway 5 just past Merritt in B.C. when he saw a parked car on the side of the highway and a man trying to flag him down. Sahasi’s heroism no doubt saved the British Columbia woman’s life.
“My wife’s having a heart attack!” the man told Sahasi.
Sahasi called 9-1-1 and rushed to the car, where he found the woman still strapped in her seatbelt.
Following the instruction of the 9-1-1 operator, Sahasi got the woman out of the car and lay her down on the ground. There was no one else but Sahasi and the woman’s husband to help and Sahasi had not done CPR before.
He was nervous, he says, because he knew that in some cases, amateurs performing CPR have broken the victim’s ribs or caused other injuries. But with the help of the 9-1-1 operator, Sahasi performed the necessary CPR procedure.
It took thirty minutes for first responders to arrive, the woman repeatedly started and then stopped breathing. Sahasi grew tired, but never gave up, stopping only when paramedics arrived and took over.
The woman was taken to the hospital and survived. The next day, her husband called Sahasi to share the good news: his wife was doing well, had no cracked ribs or significant problems as a result of the CPR.
At the hospital, the doctors had told him, “You’re really lucky your wife is alive, given that this happened in the middle of nowhere. Only about two percent of people would survive cardiac arrest in such a remote location.”
Sahasi, who has driven for Bison more than a year, commented: “I believe that what goes around, comes around. I was already running a little late, but destiny had planned something else for me that day.”
He continued: “It made me feel so good that the doctor said I did [the CPR] perfectly. If done too lightly, the heart wouldn’t have started functioning. If done too hard, her ribs might have been fractured. Neither happened, and it is really, really rewarding to know she survived. I never expected this [Bison job] would take me somewhere like this.”
For his act of kindness, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has named Sahasi a Highway Angel and has presented him with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decal. Manitoba-based Bison Transport also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.