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Ottawa student to be honoured for rescuing brother

ACT Foundation and Kiwanis Club of Ottawa Medical Foundation honour student rescuer and celebrate reaching fundraising goal of Dollars for Mannequins Campaign for Ottawa high schools

OTTAWA, Ontario, April 22, 2005 — The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation of Canada and the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa Medical Foundation have many reasons to celebrate today. Their longstanding partnership has resulted in another dramatic rescue and they have met the fundraising goal they established through the Dollars for Mannequins Campaign, which will result in every Ottawa high school receiving the mannequins required to teach CPR to students.

Twenty-year-old Suzy Ayach learned CPR several years ago as a student at Nepean High School. When her 11-year-old brother Nour began choking at the dinner table one evening last September, she reacted quickly, using the skills she learned in high school and saved his life. Suzy will be honoured by the ACT Foundation and the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa Medical Foundation for her courage and quick action, today, at 1:00 p.m. in the Champlain Room of the Delta Ottawa Hotel. Suzy and her brother will also take part in a dramatic reenactment of a cardiac arrest situation.

The ACT Foundation brought CPR training to Suzy’s school with the help of the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa Medical Foundation in 1994, as a part of the original pilot of the ACT High School CPR Program in Ottawa. At that time, 32 Ottawa high schools received mannequins and teacher training to be able to deliver the CPR course to their students, through a donation of $62,500 for 800 mannequins from the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa Medical Foundation. The pilot was so successful, that ACT has since brought the CPR program to over 700 high schools across Canada. To date, over 700,000 Canadian youth have been trained in the lifesaving skills of CPR through the ACT High School CPR Program.

Building upon the success of the Ottawa pilot, ACT recently teamed up with the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa Medical Foundation to launch the Dollars for Mannequins Campaign. Aimed at the local business community, the campaign was jumpstarted with a $12,000 donation from the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa Medical Foundation. Response was tremendous, with 39 Ottawa businesses donating mannequins to local schools. Among these businesses is gold sponsor Hydro Ottawa and silver sponsor Ferano Construction Ltd.
“This is a proud day for the ACT Foundation. We are extremely pleased to honour Suzy Ayach for saving her brother’s life,” said Sandra Clarke, Executive Director of the ACT Foundation. “We are also thrilled to announce the success of the Dollars for Mannequins Campaign, due in great part to the leadership of the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa Medical Foundation.”

Research indicates that CPR response by citizens can improve the out-of-hospital survival rate for cardiac arrest almost fourfold. With 85% of cardiac arrests occurring at home, empowering youth with CPR training as part of their high school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term.

“This program will empower kids with CPR as a life skill,” says Dr. Justin Maloney, Base Hospital Program Medical Director, Ottawa Hospital. “Not only will they learn how to do CPR, they will learn how to recognize a developing cardiac emergency, the importance of calling 911 quickly and how to assist while waiting for the paramedics. This is important information they will carry with them to their present and future familes.”

About the ACT Foundation
The ACT Foundation is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to establishing CPR as a mandatory program in every Canadian high school. ACT raises funds for CPR mannequins for schools and guides schools in program set-up.

The ACT Foundation’s corporate health partners are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca; Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the foundation’s national goal of empowering youth to save lives. In Ontario, the Government of Ontario, Hydro One and the Ontario Trillium Foundation are provincial funding partners. Kiwanis service clubs play a key role as program partners at the community level. For more information visit: www.actfoundation.ca.