Red Cross honors first responders who saved Henderson woman while off-duty

Jean Dahlberg thanks Las Vegas police officer Brandon Alvarado, left, and Nevada State Police T ...

Metropolitan Police Department Officer Brandon Alvarado was off-duty and coaching his daughter’s soccer team in Henderson.

At the end of the game, as the teams greeted each other, Alvarado heard screaming.

He turned to see Jean Dahlberg, 64, of Henderson, slumped over in her chair. Dahlberg was watching her twin granddaughters who were being coached by Alvarado. She had gone into cardiac arrest, and Alvarado ran over to try and find a pulse.

He yelled for his brother-in-law and off-duty Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Charles Abernathy to help. The two could not find a pulse and laid Dahlberg down on the ground.

Abernathy performed chest compressions and Alvarado monitored her breathing until an ambulance came and transported Dahlberg to the hospital.

On Thursday, almost two months after the March episode, Dahlberg stood in front of friends, family and first responders at a ceremony at Red Cross Southern Nevada honoring Abernathy and Alvarado.

The two received the Lifesaving Award from the nonprofit humanitarian group for their actions.

Dahlberg called Abernathy and Alvarado her “heroes” and “guardian angels.”

“I am truly blessed to be standing here in front of you today,” Dahlberg said. “There are no words to express my love and gratitude for Charles and Brandon.”

Dahlberg spent 17 days in an intensive care unit. Abernathy’s chest compressions broke six of her ribs, but she said she has started walking without her walker and continues going to physical therapy.

“I’m getting better,” Dahlberg said.

After speaking to the crowd, she hugged and kissed Abernathy and Alvarado.

She encouraged everyone to learn CPR.

“Without the CPR, I would have been dead,” Dahlberg said.

Metro Sgt. Jake LeGrow said Alvardo started working for Metro in 2017 and currently works in the northeast area command.

Abernathy started with the highway patrol in 2006 and is assigned to the Boulder City Interstate 11 District, according to state trooper Sgt. Matt Denman.

“It’s overwhelming. It’s an amazing feeling,” Abernathy said about seeing Dahlberg’s recovery.

Abernathy said he and Alvarado were the “small life line,” of help before the more experienced paramedics arrived. He said a nurse was at the game as well who helped provide care and others called 911 and guided paramedics to Dahlberg.

“There’s quiet a few people who aren’t here today that also helped out,” Abernathy said.

To nominate someone for the Red Cross Lifesaving Award, visit lifesavingawards.org.

For more information on how to sign up for first aid and CPR classes, visit redcross.org/takeaclass.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.