On the morning of May 28, Nick Shrope, an upcoming senior at Kanab High School, experienced something most people will never have to face. As he was enjoying the Memorial Day weekend at Jackson Flat Reservoir along with some friends, Shrope noticed fellow Kanab citizen, Seth Giddings, who was stumbling around and appeared to be in pain.
Shrope offered Giddings a bottled water and suggested he sit down and take a drink. When Giddings tried to drink with the cap still on, Shrope could clearly sense something was not right and helped Giddings sit down in his side by side, at which point he slumped over as if passed out.
Shrope shook him awake, but then he slumped over again. Shrope’s lifeguard training kicked in as he checked Giddings’ pulse and found a very slow heart-beat. He then used his adrenaline-induced strength to pull Giddings, a 44-year-old man more than double the size of Shrope, out of the side by side, leaning him against himself to prevent him from falling on the rocky ground below.
Shrope had his friends help lay Giddings on a towel where he checked his pulse again to find an even slower heart rate than before. He told one of his friends to call 911 as he checked for another pulse, to which he could trace no heart-beat. Shrope knew he had to administer CPR immediately and began administering chest compressions and mouth to mouth on the spot.
At this point, a passerby stopped to help Shrope. They took turns giving chest compressions and mouth to mouth. Finally, after what seemed like an extended period of time, though it was only four minutes later, Sheriff Tracy Glover arrived on the scene with an ambulance and EMT crew. Shrope stayed right by their side and continued giving chest compressions as they took over the mouth to mouth administrations.
An automated external defibrillator (AED) was then placed on Giddings, but showed a “no shock advised” signal. Shrope and the others did not give up hope and continued with CPR, while placing an IV in Giddings’ knee. An EMT voiced that it was so hot and wondered aloud if there was any shade. Shrope ran to a beach umbrella, pulled it out of the sand and held it over the team as they continued to work on Giddings.
As things were not improving, and there continued to be no pulse detected, the stranger who came over and had started helping Shrope before the EMT’s arrived, suggested they say a prayer to help Giddings breathe. A few seconds later, Giddings got right up, started pulling the oxygen off and seemed confused as to where he was, thinking he had just woken up from a nap. The team explained what had happened and said they were taking him to the hospital to be examined, but all he wanted to do was go back to fishing!
Shrope humbly attributed his quick, clear thinking in such a high stress situation to his lifeguard training, which he had received just a week before the incident, as it was fresh on his mind.
Emily Shrope, Nick’s mother, who is currently a nursing student, credits some of his quick thinking and ability to focus in on the situation to his ADHD, which she says, isn’t always helpful in a school setting perhaps, but in a high stress situation like this, helped him be able to multi task and hyper focus on exactly what he needed to do.
Shrope said the experience has altered his future career plans somewhat and has opened his eyes to the possibility of becoming an EMT, which he hadn’t considered before.
Shrope also wants to thank the man who came over and offered assistance before the EMT’s arrived, even though he has no idea who he was and says he disappeared after Giddings got up and was moving around.
Giddings and his family expressed to Shrope how incredibly grateful they are for his quick thinking and actions that ended up saving a life that day at the reservoir.
The Kane County Sheriff’s Office, County Commissioners and Kane County Water Conservancy District presented Shrope with a letter of appreciation, commending him for how he handled the situation on May 28. An excerpt from the letter reads:
“On behalf of the citizens of Kane County, we would like to take this opportunity to recognize your heroic, lifesaving efforts that day. You were trained, prepared and reacted with a cool head. You utilized your recent CPR training to render aid prolonging the necessary blood and oxygen flow until emergency responders arrived. You are to be commended for your life saving actions at Jackson Flat Reservoir that day. Please accept this letter and small gift as a token of appreciation and gratitude from the elected officials and citizens of Kane County. We are blessed to have you as a member of our community.”
Giddings has made a full recovery and was seen by Shrope’s mother the very next day back to doing what he loves best: fishing at the reservoir, a hobby he can still enjoy thanks to the valiant efforts of a prepared, concerned and brave citizen, Nick Shrope.