First Communion Sail
People ask, “Do you sail on special occasions?” His grandparents brought Gianni LaLota and his older brother Sal from the Fredicksburg area to go sailing after he made his First Communion that morning with his Catholic school class. The boys took the wheel with their grandfather Jim Moore in control. They managed fluky winds and gusts, and eventually Sal steered his way through the gusts to maintain direction and speed. They loved it. What’s not to love?
Their mother Carla LaLota is finishing up advanced nursing training in cardiac care so she can work in a hospital ICU.
I asked if an AED unit is much of a shock. “Yes, it is. When you put the pads on the skin, the machine warns you to stay clear when it activates the charge. We had a nurse working on a cardiac patient who it turned out had an automatic AED installed in his chest. He had so many heart attacks that this device would work automatically. Well, it went off while the nurse was doing chest compressions and she was severely shocked. She had to go to the Emergency Room.
“That led to a new protocol for working on such patients. You need to wear three pairs of rubber gloves and put a folded towel on the chest to avoid getting shocked.”
I asked if it was okay during CPR to break a few ribs. Carla said, “You really have to if you’re going to save them. Breaking a rib allows more compression on the heart because it gets nearer to the heart, so yes.” Sal thought that was cruel and painful. She replied, “If you’re dying, a broken rib doesn’t matter if we can save you. Better to keep you alive.”
Hours later, I complimented Carla on the fine behavior of the boys, who were rambunctious but mindful. Their grandfather joked, perhaps using the earlier story, “Those shock treatments really work.”
The gusts of wind were shock enough to hold everyone’s attention. We pulled in the foresail genoa to avoid getting overpowered. I assured everyone that the boat could not tip over because a 4,000-lb. lead keel beneath the hull keeps it righted. Sal asked the best question of the year: “Isn’t it dangerous to have lead in the water?” He may have been referring to the Flint, Michigan, tragedy. I explained that the lead sat encased in multiple layers of paint and would not become ablative in the York River. He contemplated that while looking for the next gust.
Let’s Go on a First Communion Sail
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