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As National Superhero Day, April 28th draws near, we're sending a big "shout-out" to Tommy Watson. Tommy worked with the American Heart Association two years ago to pass legislation requiring Hands-only CPR to be taught in health classes in Vermont schools. And, like the Energizer Bunny, this super kid keeps on going and going and going! Tommy has now trained over 1,300 people this life-saving skill.

Tommy is pictured here teaching former Vermont Governor Madeleine Kunin Hands-only CPR at the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Luncheon in January. Governor Kunin, by the way, was one of Vermont's first Go Red Leading Ladies helping us spread the word about women and heart disease.

Last week, Karen Acompora wrote to many of you about her son Louis, a victim of sudden cardiac arrest. Please read Karen’s note about Louis and join her in calling for Governor Cuomo to take a stand to support CPR in Schools…

Today marks 14 years since my son, Louis, played in his first high school lacrosse game. After blocking what appeared to be a routine shot with his chest, Louis collapsed on the field. The coaches and trainers rushed out and began CPR. Paramedics arrived almost 15 minutes after Louis’ collapse. They attempted defibrillation but were too late. Louis went into sudden cardiac arrest and passed away. He was 14 years old.

Sudden cardiac arrest can be scary – it can happen to anyone, at any time. That’s why we worked hard to pass Louis’ Law so that all schools in the state are equipped with AEDs. And 79 lives have been saved. But now it’s time to do more. CPR is the lifesaving solution. We need more people to learn this simple skill.

Here in New York, there is a bill that calls for students to learn CPR and AED instruction. And while 13 other states have adopted CPR in Schools laws, the bill has lingered in Albany. And Governor Cuomo hasn’t taken a position.

I’m urging Governor Cuomo to publicly support the adoption of CPR in Schools. Will you join me?

Given right away, CPR doubles or triples survival rates. It’s time for New York State to have more lifesavers in the community...Please join me to tell Governor Cuomo: It’s time for New York to be CPR smart.

Save a Life. Learn CPR.

Sincerely,

Karen

Since this was printed, Louis’ Law has saved another life. We can do even more. Please join Karen and call for Governor Cuomo to support CPR in Schools.

http://yourethecure.org/aha/advocacy/composeletters.aspx?AlertID=34556

Will Freeman Kentucky

When his younger brother's friend nearly died at a birthday party, Will Freeman decided to take action--by teaching hands-only CPR to his peers at Henry Clay High School. In addition to recently training his entire class of over 500 students, the Lexington, Kentucky, senior has been working closely with the American Heart Association throughout the 2014 Legislative Session to gain support for a bill that would ensure all high school students in the state learn CPR before they graduate.

Read more about Will's efforts and how you can help create a new generation of lifesavers in your state by supporting CPR training for all high school students!

Kent and Marcia Seeker Wisconsin

On April 21st, 2009, my beloved wife, Marcia, suffered a heart attack just as we were going to bed.  I wasn't sure WHAT was wrong, but I knew that I needed help and called 911.  Amber, the 911 operator, had me relay what was happening then had me begin compression-only CPR.  It took the fire department ten minutes to arrive, but their sirens were some of the sweetest sounds I've ever heard.  The good people from Ladder 6 took over and ended up shocking my wife's heart three times.  I stood there numbly expecting them to turn to me at any minute and say "sorry, Mr. Seeker, we did everything we could".  Incredibly (to me), they began readying Marcia for transport to the hospital and I began to allow myself some hope once again.  In the ER, it was a beehive of activity, then she was whisked away to the Cardiology Dept.  I sat in a waiting room by myself for three hours not knowing if Marcia had lived or died.  It was absolutely the longest three hours of my life.  Somewhere around 4:00 am, the cardiac surgeon came out and began talking about Marcia in the present tense which I thought was encouraging, so I asked if she was still alive.  He said:  "she's conscious and talking" and I ‘bout fell over - I felt like I'd won ten lotteries!  Maybe twenty minutes later, they wheeled Marcia out on a gurney and I probably made a fool of myself gushing thanks to the surgeon.


That was nearly five years ago and I still have my Marcia.  It hasn't always been easy, but her health has stabilized and Marcia suffered no brain damage, for which we're very thankful, since the cardiologist referred to her heart attack as "one of the worst there is".  We've since been able to thank the firefighters and Amber, the 911 operator, in person for their lifesaving efforts and plan to visit them again on the five-year anniversary of their 'save'. 

About one year after Marcia's heart attack, one of our local television stations, WISC, contacted us about doing a story promoting compression-only CPR training for everyone.  We agreed and that story is still available on YouTube.  You can click this link to watch our story: http://youtu.be/9V974FNSuz4

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