Young Canadian Brothers Perform CPR to Save Grandmother's Life: 'They Kept Their Cool'

Two grandsons saved the life of their grandmother.
Grayson Wu, left, with his grandmother and older brother, Kian. Keith Wu

Patti Chatterson and her two grandsons were settling in for a movie night when her heart stopped.

Patti Chatterson and her two grandsons were settling in for a movie night. Popcorn was also on the agenda.

But about five minutes into the film, the 62-year-old's heart stopped beating. Grayson Wu, 7, asked his grandmother a question. She didn't answer.

"Apparently, my head had flipped back and my mouth was hanging open and I was making gurgling sounds," Chatterson told from her home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

She doesn't remember any of this, but when she woke up four days later, she is in a hospital, on life support, and was told that Grayson and his 10-year-old brother, Kian, had saved her life by calling 911 and performing CPR. 

"They kept their cool so incredibly well," said the proud grandma, who is a nurse. Her daughter, the boys' mother, also is a nurse and she had just recently taught her curious sons the lifesaving procedure after they asked about it.

"They did fabulously," said Chatterson, who is now home from the hospital and doing much better, though she's still a little sore. And she is now outfitted with an internal defibrillator, which acts on its own if her heart stops again. 

"It delivers a shock that will probably drop me to my knees, so I'll know what's going on," she said, laughing. She sure as heck didn't know what was going on when she awoke in a hospital bed. As far as she had known, she was in perfect health. 

"I'm a very young 62," she said. "I'm healthy. I go to the gym." She plays with her grandsons, takes them on outings, and has them for sleepovers. But sitting in her recliner, just after dinner, on a peaceful night with her grandsons, she went into cardiac arrest. 

The boys called their parents, but no one picked up. Grayson dialed 911 and handed the phone to his big brother. Grayson checked for a pulse. There wasn't one. He put his finger under his grandma's nose, but felt no air coming out.

The dispatcher told the boys to get their grandmother flat on the floor. Kian started chest compressions. Grayson chipped in with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Seven minutes later, the paramedics arrived. 

"I had to be defibrillated four times," Chatterson said. Doctors couldn't figure out what prompted her heart to flat-line, either. Cardiac arrest, she explained, is far worse than a heart attack. "Your heart stops and that's that. Unless you get CPR or defibrillated, you're dead," she said.

Her grandsons are very humble about saving grandma's life.

"My older grandson just felt terrible," she said. "He was so, so worried because when he was doing the compressions, he heard my sternum crack," she explained.

As a nurse, "that's happened to me," she said. "It's just terrible to hear that."

Grayson had a more practical outlook. "You know what, Grandma," he told her, "I'm not done spending time with you."