FLORENCE, Ky. — St. Elizabeth Healthcare emergency room technician Blake Webb has a special tradition every time he saves a life.
One of his jobs is to perform CPR on patients in cardiac distress in the emergency room at St. E’s in Florence – and every time he does, he puts a little heart sticker on his badge.
“As of last week, I got my 35th sticker on my badge,” Webb said.
His arm tattoo also holds a special meaning.
“I have the moon on there, which represents my family,” he said. “When I was working night shift, I'd be able to say, ‘Goodnight, moon,’ as I was walking into work.”
The astronaut on there represents Webb himself. He dreams of the cosmos, and the stars around him in the tattoo have a meaning that’s a little more down to earth: the number of chest compressions he gives while saving a life.
“It gives me cold chills every time that I’m able to go in there and be able to do this because that mechanical movement is what needs to happen in order for someone to come back to life again,” Webb said. “I’m blessed to be in a career where I can truly make a difference in somebody’s life.”
One day, while working, he was talking about the hearts on his sticker with his coworker and friend.
“It really gave me pause when he told me that and I was like, ‘People need to know this,’” St. Elizabeth Healthcare Emergency Dept. RN Terry Foster said.
Each of the heart stickers on Webb’s badge represents a patient who survived – if only just long enough to say goodbye to family. Precious time made possible by his CPR.
He calls it a heart for a heart, a practice that’s grown to include his emergency department peers.
“These successes are fuel for us. We really hold on to them,” Webb said. “It’s like this gives meaning behind what we do.”
The constellation around the astronaut on his tattoo got a little brighter this past week, as he makes sure his art imitates his life in a sweet symbolic way.
“You know, the closest to heaven is the stars. So, they were able to go up there and touch them, but I was able to pull them down again,” Webb said.
He said patients often ask him about the hearts on his badge and when he tells them, a teary moment typically follows.
The tattoo, on the other hand, has been a couple of years in the making. In the time since WCPO talked to Webb, he has added two more hearts – and still has some stars to go.