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Quebec teen saves brother from choking

It was a snowy Saturday in Albanel, Quebec, and 16 year-old Marie-Eve was enjoying the day at home. Her 14 year-old brother, Maxime, and his friend were cheering for their favorite hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens, in a game against the Boston Bruins. The game was close, but, a really tense moment was about to happen.

Marie-Eve heard her little brother start to cough. She ran to the TV room and asked if he was okay. His friend told her he was just joking, but Marie-Eve knew something was drastically wrong.

Then Marie-Eve heard no sound and could see the panic in her brother’s eyes as he struggled for air. “I started doing the Obstructed Airway Menoeuvre – I did that for about 15 seconds and then a piece of a muffin flew out of his mouth,” she recounts.

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Marie-Eve knew exactly what to do thanks to the CPR training she received at school from her Grade 9 teachers. She is thankful for the skills she learnt, “If I hadn’t known how to do it, I would have seen my brother choke in front of me.”

Maxime is grateful his sister has the skills to help him, “All I can say to my sister is thank you!” Thanks to his sister, he was able to breathe again, just in time to see les Canadiens win 3-2 in overtime.

The ACT High School CPR Program was made possible in Marie-Eve’s school thanks to the support of the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Quebec Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports, Sun Life Financial, and ACT’s health partners, AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi.

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, and manuals to schools, and guides schools in program set-up. Teachers teach CPR to students as a regular part of the curriculum. Over 1.8 million youth across Canada have been trained in CPR through this lifesaving program to date.

ACT’s health partners (AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi) are supporting the program in Quebec and across Canada. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the Foundation’s national goal of promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives.