The Kiss of Life

This 1967 award-winning photo by Rocco Morabito entitled “Kiss of Life” shows two power linemen, Randall Champion and J. D. Thompson, at the top of a utility pole. While performing routine maintenance Champion brushed one of the high voltage lines at the very top. These are the lines that can be heard “singing” with electricity. Over 4000 volts entered Champion’s body and instantly stopped his heart (to put this into perspective an electric chair uses about 2000 volts).

His safety harness prevented a fall, and Thompson, who had been ascending below him, quickly reached him and performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. He was unable to perform CPR given the circumstances, but continued breathing into Champion’s lungs until he felt a slight pulse, then unbuckled his harness and descended with him on his shoulder.

Thompson and another worker administered CPR on the ground, and Champion was moderately revived by the time paramedics arrived. Champion survived and lived until 2002. Thompson is still living.

Incredible acts performed by ordinary people remind me how amazing the world is and helps me keep the faith in humanity as a whole.

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