It’s likely that you’ve seen this photo making the rounds on the internet. But if you’re anything like us, you might have been sceptical and thought it was one of the 1000s of ‘fake’ click-bait pictures we seen on social media. However, we’ve done our research and this is honestly a picture of a man doing mid-air mouth-to-mouth.
This photo won its photographer and his paper the 1968 Pulitzer Prize in Spot News Photography. Rocco Morabito caught this famous photo as he was returning from covering another story. He saw a group of utility workers shouting, and pulled over to see them worrying about their unconscious colleague. Mr Champion had received a 4,160-volt electric shock. The photographer used his car radio to call an ambulance, and then took his famous photo. In the picture Mr Thompson gives mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to his workmate after the he had come in contact with a hot wire on the top of a power pole.
This picture is still revered today because it shows a happy ending – Mr Champion survived for another 35 years. He even survived another electric shock, would you believe! When asked about his heroic actions that day, Mr Thompson said he was just doing his job. However, at that time it wasn’t a method that had been widely publicised throughout America. In fact, it was this incident which popularized the term ‘kiss of life’ for CPR.
Those of us who are up to date with the resuscitation guidelines know that when it comes to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, emphasis is now on the compressions rather than the breathing. However, this story illustrates just how important swiftly applied Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation truly is. Another great example that tells us how important early intervention is, is this famous footage from Bondi Rescue.