Approaching the two year anniversary of HB 837 brings back vivid memories of the anxiety I felt with my very first State Lobby Day. Intimidation, fear, and angst were some of the emotions, but because I truly believe in promoting awareness related to sudden cardiac arrest I did what any good ole' southern girl would do--faced my fear!
Most of the legislators were away from their offices in other meetings, so we met with their legislative assistants. However, some were available and we were able to share with them our passion for improving survival and how teaching CPR in high schools and making it a graduation requirement was an obvious starting point!
With Representative Carney on our side, after her most unfortunate cardiac event, we were destined for success.
Here we are two years later! I had the chance to meet her at this year’s State Lobby Day and hug her neck. I shared with her my seven year old’s YouTube video of her acting out a scene of Hands-Only CPR in our front yard with her dad.
She shouts, "Hey, you Call 9-1-1!"
"Hey, you get the AED!"
She starts compressions. Hard part of the hand center of the chest. DO NOT STOP until EMS arrives.
As the Heart Outreach Coordinator in Western North Carolina (WNC), I have instructed over 2,000 students and community members in Hands-Only CPR with the help of various volunteers. We have heard some pretty amazing stories of bystander CPR. Just last week in the Eastern part of NC grandfather's life was saved by his granddaughter who was instructed at school how to perform Hands-Only CPR and how to use an AED.
With out of hospital cardiac arrest still leading the US as the #3 leading cause of death we have to be persistent in our efforts!
When I teach Hands-Only CPR I always tell the students about lifestyle modifications and the importance of prevention but I also tell them PLEASE spread the word about Hands-Only CPR. Use social media for positivity! Stand for something! You never know whose life you could save. North Carolina must improve this <5% survival rate! Be creative! Tweet, post on Facebook, and use Instagram to share about Hands-Only CPR.
Every year we host an Annual CPR Olympics between local high schools in WNC designed to have students create a public service announcement by way of skit, song, or video on how they would teach their peers about recognizing STROKE and how to perform Hands-Only CPR.
This year’s first place winners from Clyde A. Erwin High School HOSA from Asheville, NC, demonstrate with a quick relay on the track on performing effective communication during an emergency and CPR.