By JANIE SOUTHARD
COLDWATER — When 16-year-old Adam Timmerman accompanied
his brother-in-law John Evans to Kentucky to jet ski on Lake
Cumberland in early August, he had no idea this would be the
trip where his knowledge of CPR would save a life.
Burton Jr. of Burnside, Ky., along with his father and another
man were bringing their boat in off the lake trying to beat
an approaching thunderstorm when Burton, 18, was struck by lightning.
“They were almost at the ramp when lightening hit (Burton)
in the shoulder and came out below his knee,” Timmerman
told The Daily Standard last week. “They got him on shore
and I think he was in shock. I knew for sure the guy doing CPR
on him was doing it wrong.”
Under the tremendous emotional strain, Burton’s father
was the one administering CPR.
“You could tell the dad was all shook up,” Adam
Timmerman joined forces with others at the scene and took over
the CPR operation which physicians later acknowledged saved
Adam said he didn’t feel nervous about the situation and
his CPR knowledge didn’t falter. He knew what to do and
he did it. He and a couple other guys spelled each other in
performing CPR for the five minutes or so it took the emergency
squad to arrive.
“At first you couldn’t tell if he was dead or alive.
Then there was a weak heart beat and he opened his eyes for
a couple seconds,” Adam said.
Timmerman was certified in CPR last May along with his freshman
class at Coldwater.
Deb Smith, Coldwater’s junior high health and phys. ed.
teacher, said the CPR certification classes have been taught
at the school for at least 25 years.
“The students are well versed (in CPR) when they leave.
The course is three weeks and the kids get an American Health
and Safety Certification. In fact, they don’t get out
of the course until they are certified,” Smith said last
Smith said she’s very proud of Adam, who was a group leader
in the certification course last spring. “He didn’t
panic and went straight into what he was trained to do,”
“Recognizing that the CPR was not being done properly
was a big thing in itself,” Smith continued.
Elizabeth Dick, a reporter for the Somerset (Ky.) Commonwealth
Journal, told The Daily Standard Monday that Burton, a Cincinnati
native, was released from the University of Kentucky Medical
Center’s burn unit in late August and was “apparently
doing well” at that time.
When he was taking the class last year, Timmerman said he thought
it would probably turn out to be something he’d never
“It just shows you can’t ever know what’s
going to happen. I’m glad I learned what to do,”