Column: “Thank You For Saving My Life’

January 31, 2017

[Written by Larry Burchall]

On, Monday 23rd January 2017, around 2:30pm, Rick Meens was on Court Street riding past the bank branch.

He saw a small crowd gathering around a man who was on the ground. He noted that someone was applying a cloth to the man’s bloodied head.

Rick stopped and went to the man. He knelt and immediately felt the man’s throat for the big neck artery to see if there was a pulse. There was no pulse.

Prior training and instinct kicked in and Rick immediately applied CPR. He said that while applying CPR he was aware of the loss of a pulse, but Rick kept pumping.

Mr Meens visiting the ICU at KEMH:

Rick Meens Bermuda January 2017 (2)

Fire Service EMT’s arrived and took over. An ambulance was called and the man was loaded on and taken to KEMH Emergency Room. At KEMH, the resident cardiologist later confirmed that the man’s heart had stopped.

The cardiologist said that the man owed his life to the CPR process and Rick Meen’s just in time intervention.

The man was admitted to the ICU and was flown out to John’s Hopkins hospital.

The air ambulance arriving in Baltimore where a Johns Hopkins ambulance awaits:

Rick Meens Bermuda January 2017 (1)

The man? Larry Burchall. I vow that as soon as I am ‘fixed’, I will learn CPR.

Rick stopped by to see me in the ICU and told me the story.

I thank Rick Meens. I am alive only because he, quite literally, saved my life.

- Larry Burchall


Note: For anyone unaware, Bernews is owned and operated by Larry Burchall’s daughter, and it goes without saying I echo my Dad’s comments and also extend my thanks to Mr Meens, the BFRS EMTs, KEMH staff, Medway Air Ambulance staff, Johns Hopkins staff and all those that helped save my Dad, who has made a full recovery and is doing well. I am eternally grateful to all those that assisted – Patricia Burchall

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Comments (35)

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  1. serengeti says:

    Wow, what a story.

    I sincerely wish Mr Burchall a full and speedy recovery.

    • Onion Juice says:

      Good work Rick.

    • Kiverja says:

      Extraordinary man! May he rest in peace!

      Thank you for your contribution to Bermuda and her people Mr. Burchall.

      Sincere condolences to you – the family. May the precious memories forever comfort you!

  2. skeptic says:

    Incredible! A lesson for all of us!!

  3. Justin says:

    Larry, you can’t leave us till NANCI is paid off ;-)

    Glad to hear you have made a full recovery, welcome back!

  4. wahoo says:

    Great story! I did a CPR course some time ago and need to get a refresher I have been inspired to do that sooner rather than later because of this.

  5. Hope says:

    So fantastic to hear this! I almost lost my Dad to this when I was only five years old. I think it should be a requirement for all staff to have basic CPR training (if it isn’t already). I really hope that as many businesses as possible also have AED units to hand, and the Corporation of Hamilton should post boards around town that indicate the closest unit. CPR can be life saving, but an AED unit is a game changer.

    Wishing good health to all.

  6. Wow Well done Mr. Meens says:

    Well done to you Mr. Meens.

    Best wishes for a verry speedy recovery Mr. Burchall—get well soon–Bermuda needs you!!!

  7. swing voter says:

    Meens ….. if you know him and what he’s been through, this story is a testament to the humanity in all of us to assist whenever needed. Good job

  8. From the heart says:

    Great job, Rick Meens. Larry, you went from the good hands of Rick Meens to the safe hands of Johns Hopkins. As a former heart patient of JH, I wish you a successful recovery.

  9. Shari-Lynn Pringle says:

    Thankful that the universe conspired to have Mr. Meens on that street armed with the ability to assist Mr. Burchall. Good to see Mr. Meens (I think of you and your family often) and thankful that this story has a happy ending. Wishing Mr. Burchall a speedy and successful recovery.

  10. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Allah-u-Akbar,,,Rick Meens and Larry Burchall,and King Edward Hospital and staff,you are all an asset to Bermuda,treasure,,,,,,kudos to you.

  11. You do You says:

    Great story. Best I have read in months. Speedy recovery to you.

  12. Trinette says:

    I too, along with my children, thank you Mr. Meens. Larry is my uncle and one of the centerpieces in the lives of my children. Our family will be eternally grateful to you for helping keep Uncle with us.

    Uncle – Sophie says not more fries for you :)

  13. Jeremy Deacon says:

    Get well soon!

  14. Nicky says:

    Well done Rick! You are a well deserved hero! Please recover quickly Mr Burchall.

  15. Toodle-oo says:

    What a heartwarming story . It just goes to demonstrate how our lives can be transformed in an instant thanks to the quick actions of total strangers .

    Rick , you’re a hero .
    Larry , make a speedy and complete recovery , even though I’m surprised that you need to learn CPR after all your years in the Regiment , I’m sure it was part of my training when I was in , and you were there .

    Bless you all .

  16. Katie says:

    Pleased to hear Larry that you are doing well , & a big thank you to your very own Angel from the Steyning uk family xx

  17. Terry says:

    Best of luck Mr. Burchall.

    Been there and done that. Two in 24 hours.

    Take care and as someone mention…no more fries especially salt.

  18. Steve thomson says:

    Wow…..what a great ending to a potentially horrible situation.
    Well done Rick.
    You are an inspiration to all of us

  19. Enough says:

    Speedy recovery Mr. Burchall and we’ll done to all those involved.

  20. sage says:

    Great job sir, talk about the right person, at the right place, at the right time, hope you get well soon Mr. Burchall.

  21. I and I says:

    Blessings to all life savers and life preservers!

  22. Both Mr. Meens and Mr. Burchall are highly respected individuals and public figures, and we are truly grateful for this story and it may be a stretch, but I truly feel when you do good to humanity, it comes back to you. Mr. Burchall has done a lot for the country as a whole on many different front’s, and it is a great testament of God’s divine intervention and protection through the quick actions of Mr. Meen’s.

    A very powerful story and grateful that Mr. Burchall is recovering and wish him well. Thank’s Mr. Meen’s for your quick action which help to save Mr. Burchall.

  23. Grizz says:

    Blessings to you Mr. Meens. Glad your Dad is recovering well Patricia! Very touching story.

  24. Rockfish#1 and#2 says:

    Good stuff Mr.Meens,Larry hope you have a speedy and complete recovery.

  25. Failure is an option says:

    A massive thank you to Rick Meens for keeping our quiz team in tact.

  26. Widget says:

    @Failure is an option.


    Speedy recovery MR. Burchall, there’s a glass of good red wine waiting for you upon your return to Bermuda, on me.

  27. Derek A. G. Jones says:

    I always like a happy ending. Thank you Mr Meens and best wishes for a speedy rdcovery Mr Burchall. Bermuda needs more of you both.

  28. Gray Matter says:

    Yes, gotta say ditto to Derek’s message above. Lucky stars… they followed you Mr. Burchall and I’m so grateful they did. Hope you will be with us for a very long time – we need you. And Mr. Meens, you rock!!!

  29. Thank you Mr.Meens…cudos.

  30. one more thing… hey Larry…. pleasee don’t die anymore… we much prefer you remain with us.

  31. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    Great to hear this, CPR is a life saver and can mean the difference between life and death for someone in such an emergency. He is a video from the British Heart Foundation that, while somewhat lighthearted in its approach to the subject, has actually meant the difference between life and death for quite a few people, in precisely the same way that Mr. Meens’ intervention saved Mr. Burchall’s

    The BHF have gone on to make several testimonials about how this video saved their lives, just because someone had seen and remembered it. Being Vinnied has saved lives

  32. Karen says:

    Super story. Speedy recovery to you Mr. Burchall.

  33. Tracker says:

    I’m so happy to be reading your report old friend. I had only heard that you had been flown out, no idea of what had occurred. I do now celebrate your recovery and add to the gratitude to Mr. Meen for his successful intervention. Peace and Love to Patty n Patty n family.