As First Responder, Attempted to Save Mother's Life


Norm Sisler

I am a 47 year old male with a lovely wife and two beautiful teenage kids. My daughter's going to be 21. Over 12 years ago I lost my mother to a tragic incident which was happening before my very eyes and I didn't even know it. As a volunteer firefighter we responded to a VSA (vital signs absent) call to our local bowling alley. When I arrived on the second vehicle personnel were already working on a person that had collapsed, so I stayed back out of the way ready to assist in any way I could help. At this point one of the patrons(who knew me) came up to me and advised it was my mother that had collapsed. I suddenly realized had to be more than a firefighter and immediately assisted with resuscitation. I performed CPR all the way to the hospital but failed miserably. She was declared dead two hours later she was 67. The very person that gave me life and I could not even return the favour . To this day I still cannot overcome this feeling even though I continue to tell myself everything that could have been done was done. People continue to tell me she was probably dead when she hit the floor. We all miss her terribly but I cannot get over this feeling of remorse. Am I wrong???

Norm Sisler



You can send email to Norm at: norman@iaw.com
mail welcome


anniversary date 1985
date of post 08-02-97

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW