On Victoria Day long weekend, 16 year old Curtis and his family were enjoying themselves at a campsite outside Goderich, Ontario. Curtis and his father were barbequing, while his mom, Teresa, was in the camping trailer preparing for dinner. Suddenly, a woman came running up calling for help.
“My husband John had passed out. I had to get help!” recalls Catherine. As Teresa ran with Catherine to her trailer, she remembered that Curtis had learned CPR at school, and shouted for him to join her.
They found John not breathing and unresponsive. Curtis arrived and began to coach his mother with the lifesaving skills he had learnt just a month ago during physical education class. With Curtis’ coaching, Teresa started CPR compressions.
“Curtis kept encouraging me until help arrived, telling me he’d take over as soon as I got tired” said Teresa.
An off duty police officer and fellow camper, Scott, arrived and took over compressions.
“Curtis showed tremendous courage and maturity when dealing with this stressful event. His calmness helped his mother remain focused and assisted her to perform life-saving CPR on a man who would not be with us today if it were not for Curtis’ actions” recounts Scott.
With the help of Teresa, Curtis, and Scott, John became responsive and started speaking, just before paramedics arrived.
Although Curtis never thought he would have to use the skills he learned through the ACT High School CPR Program, he credits the program for knowing how to react in this emergency.
“It taught me what to do, to stay calm and go through all the steps in my head,” he said.
Later that evening, Catherine let Teresa and Curtis know they were expecting John to fully recover. “We are so grateful. I can’t say what would have happened to John without CPR,” says Catherine.
“I am very proud of my Curtis.” says Teresa.
The ACT High School CPR Program was made possible in Curtis’ school thanks to generous community and provincial-level support that enabled the donation of mannequins, teacher training and curriculum resources. Community partners are GoodLife Fitness Clubs, Sterling Trucks &the CAW Local 1001, Shoppers Drug Mart, Charles H. Ivey Foundation, and the London Community Foundation. Provincial partner is the Government of Ontario.
The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is an award-winning, national charitable organization dedicated to establishing CPR in high schools across Canada. ACT raises funds to donate mannequins, teacher training, manuals and materials to schools, and guides schools in program set-up and long-term sustainability. Teachers teach CPR as a regular part of the curriculum. Over 1.8 million youth have been trained across Canada to date.
ACT’s national health partners, supporting the program in Ontario and throughout Canada are: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the Foundation’s national goal of promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives.