Teen Saves Dad's Life as 911 Operator Talks Him Through Performing CPR

A 16-year-old boy saved his father’s life, with the help of a 911 operator, when he performed CPR after his dad went into cardiac arrest in the family’s suburban Illinois home.

Tom Gould was talking to his son in his room at their Barrington home two months ago when the 56-year-old collapsed in cardiac arrest.

"I was like, 'Dad are you OK?'" Brendan Gould said. "No response."

That’s when Brendan called 911.

"His lips and whole face turned dark purple," he said. "Then I got kind of scared."

An operator talked the teen through performing CPR until paramedics arrived.

"When I started talking to Brendan, that’s when he said his father was turning purple," said Jeff Callaghan with Cencom 911. "Once they turn purple, we have to start the CPR immediately to try to help, to try to save a life."

Brendan Gould was scheduled to take CPR lessons in school two days later, but he surprised even the operator with how he handled the situation.

"I didn’t know until the end of the call that he was a kid," Callaghan said. "He was really calm the whole time."

Tom Gould has since recovered, but said he might not be alive if it weren’t for Callaghan's guidance and his son's quick thinking.

“The two together, with Jeff leading the way, was absolutely crucial to my survival,” he said.

The young teen was honored by local law enforcement for his heroism. 

Brendan Gould credits his training in football for learning “to adjust to hard situations,” but said he still learned a valuable lesson that fateful night.

“Don’t take life for granted,” he said. “You never know when someone is going to leave you.”

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