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Arriving at the school on Jan. 16, 2004, Sue saw three police cars, an ambulance, an EMT vehicle and a fire truck.
“I threw my keys and ran. I knew I it was really bad. When I got to the second floor, I could see the paramedics shocking him,” she says. “I lost it.”
Rob suffered a cardiac arrest during an exam for his Civics class at Woodroffe High School. Vice-principals Patrick and Rowan responded quickly to the emergency. Both had learned CPR through the ACT High School CPR Program when they were physical education teachers. Together, they performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
“I feel a sense of relief that it went so well and turned out the way it did. You do what you’re trained to do. I can’t imagine not knowing what to do in that kind of situation. It’s a great feeling,” says Rowan.
Rob recovered quickly from the incident. The 21-year-old now has an internal defibrillator.
“I feel great. I’m lucky they did CPR,” says Rob, who was told by doctors that, because of the risks involved, he can no longer play competitive sports or become a police officer. “But I’m alive. There are lots of other things I can do in life. I feel normal again.”
Sue is thankful teachers at her son’s school were trained in CPR. Without their quick action, her son would not be alive today.
“It only takes four hours to learn CPR. The air you breathe into the person you are trying to save, your body doesn’t need. But it is priceless. You may be scared that it might not work, and that’s OK. It might not, but it might – and it did for my son. A life is more precious than the four hours it takes to learn CPR.”
The ACT High School CPR Program was made possible at Woodroffe High School thanks to generous community and provincial-level support which enabled the donation of mannequins, teacher training and curriculum resources. The lead community partner in Ottawa is the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa. The print partner which donates the printing of the student manual is the Ottawa Citizen. Provincial partners of the program are the Government of Ontario, Hydro One, Shoppers Drug Mart, and The Ontario Trillium Foundation.
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 Ontario 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.