Lehigh Valley

Bear Creek Ski Patrol, EMS honored for saving teen's life

Earl Kufen doesn't remember anything from January 19. 

"Nothing, absolutely nothing," said Kufen, from Media. 

But the Bear Creek Ski Patrol will never forget it.

"It's going to be forever imprinted in my mind," said Marci Krauth, a member of the Bear Creek Ski Patrol.

It was a Saturday and Kufen went on a tubing trip to Bear Creek with his Eagle Scout troop from Delaware County. The 16-year-old was standing in line when he dropped.

"We could hear the panic in people's voices on the radios and so we flew down there as fast as we could," said Krauth.

"He was not breathing and did not have a pulse," said Melissa Bubbenmoyer, a member of the Bear Creek Ski Patrol.

Kufen was in cardiac arrest and had no heartbeat for 13 minutes.

"You don't expect to walk up on a 16-year-old kid that's dying in front of you," said Bubbenmoyer.

The ski patrol performed CPR and shocked him back to life with an AED before Topton EMS rushed him to the hospital.

"We're very very grateful," said Marybeth Kufen, Earl's mother.

Marybeth says they knew about her son's heart condition. He also has epilepsy, which is why she was hesitant to let him go on the trip in the first place, but she calls the traumatic event serendipity.

"He would've been home alone with me and I don't know that we'd be here today, I think we'd be talking about him instead of to him," said Marybeth.

It is now four months later, and the Kufens reunited with Earl's care team at a ceremony Wednesday night honoring the men and women who saved his life.

"I'm very grateful for what they've done," said Earl.

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