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U.S. city proclaims a day in honour of Ottawa teen

The Ottawa teen was taking his morning shower. He was getting ready for a day of fun with his friends in Dublin, Ohio where he was vacationing with his younger brother Jakob. That’s when Jakob suddenly burst into the bathroom.

“Charlene’s dead,” he said. Charlene, 45, was the mother of Adam’s 15-year-old friend Jonathan, and the host of this late summer vacation.

“I was shocked,” says Adam. “I jumped out of the shower, put on my pajamas and ran downstairs. I walked into the living room and I just stared at her for a couple of seconds.”

Just months before that day in August, Adam had been taught CPR at Ottawa’s Sacred Heart High School through the ACT High School CPR Program. He remembered what he had learned and began going through the steps while Jonathan called 9-1-1.

The teen administered CPR until police and firefighters arrived. “I was hoping that I’d wake up from this dream,” says Adam, who never gave up trying to revive his friend’s mother.

While Charlene didn’t survive, Adam’s intervention added 30 hours to her life. This precious time gave her family the opportunity to say goodbye.

“We’re so impressed with Adam,” says his mother, Connie.

His courage and quick action also had an impact on the city of Dublin. On Oct. 1, 2007 a special ceremony was held in his honour, during which Oct. 2, 2007 was proclaimed “Adam Day”.

The police officers who responded to the call were at the ceremony to congratulate him.

“From a law enforcement perspective, it’s very heartening that a young person would step up and try to save someone’s life,” says Corporal Tim of the Dublin Police. “We’re very proud of Adam.”

As for Rob, the physical education teacher who taught Adam CPR at Sacred Heart High School in the spring, he’s proud of how well his former student reacted and plans on using this story as an example in the classroom. “If you have some knowledge and preparation, the better chance you’ll have to react positively,” says Rob.

The ACT High School CPR Program was made possible in Adam’s 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.