When Iowa state trooper Tracey Bohlen saw an out-of-state truck suddenly stall in the middle of one of the busiest places on the interstate, the East Mixmaster, he expected the worst.
Just as Bohlen stopped next to the truck to investigate the strange behavior, the driver suddenly hit the gas pedal only to stop a short distance ahead of Bohlen. Naturally, Bohlen prepared for a violent situation and ran towards the passenger side of the car, hand on his gun, ready to draw.
When the officer opened the passenger door, a teenage boy screamed for help.
The 15-year-old teenage boy, frantic and afraid, unlocked the door and told Bohlen his father was having a heart attack.
The state trooper immediately dashed to the driver’s side, pulled the teen’s father out of the car and performed chest compressions for 50 seconds, right there in the middle of the interstate. Other drivers also stopped to help.
Fortunately, the Oklahoma man, Patrick Roark, was breathing again with a pulse within a minute of CPR.
Among those beautiful souls who stopped to assist was nurse Jane McCurdy, who took the traumatized 15-year-old Eli Roark to the hospital, stayed there for the whole day to wait for the rest of the Oklahoma family to arrive, went to the pharmacy for them, and even helped accommodate the Roarks into a hotel. McCurdy said, “I never went into nursing to make a million.”
“I was just made to make a difference, and I was just blessed to be able to do that.”
Another complete stranger stopped and helped drive the Roark’s truck to the hospital for them.
It’s beautiful and inspiring that complete strangers can come together to help save the life of a man they don’t know and support a family in trauma. But Trooper Bohlen isn’t too surprised:
“For someone just to take their whole day for a stranger…I mean that’s who we are, that’s Iowa.”
There are still good people in this world!