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Students Trained
Teen saves niece from choking

Her one-year-old niece, Taylor, was choking.

She ran downstairs to the kitchen where the infant sat in her high chair. She wasn’t moving and was starting to turn red.

Kaydie’s sister, Meigan, had just fed her daughter and was having breakfast with their mother, Shelley, when the infant began making a strange noise.

“It was like she was trying to gag herself,” says Shelley of that day in 2007. “You could tell that she was struggling.”

A student at Calgary’s Centennial High School, Kaydie had learned the airway obstruction manoeuvre and CPR through the ACT High School CPR Program.

She knew exactly what to do.

“I noticed she had too much food in her mouth,” says Kaydie. “I took some out with my finger. She still wasn’t moving so I picked her up.”

She then performed the airway obstruction manoeuvre on Taylor. The infant coughed up more food, but Kaydie knew her job wasn’t done. She gave two breaths, then checked to see if she was breathing.

She was.

The Grade 11 student knows what she did was critical. “If I hadn’t done anything, there’s a good chance she might have continued to choke and maybe died,” she says.

Her mother says seeing Kaydie spring into action made her realize how important the ACT High School CPR Program is. “I cannot emphasize enough how good of an idea it is that all schools have this program,” she says.

Kaydie has this advice for other students: “Take this training seriously. Even though I’m just 17, I can still help.”

The ACT High School CPR Program was made possible in Kaydie’s school thanks to generous community and provincial-level support which enabled the donation of mannequins, teacher training and curriculum resources. Community partners in Calgary are the Kiwanis Clubs of Calgary (Chinook, Northmount, Metro, Downtown, and Foothills), while provincial partners of the program are Alberta Education and the STARS Foundation (a founding provincial partner in this province).

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 other materials to schools, and guides schools in program set-up and long-term sustainability. Teachers teach CPR to their students as a regular part of the curriculum. Over 900,000 youth have been trained in CPR through this lifesaving program to date.

Core partners supporting the program in Alberta and throughout Canada are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: 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.