Ontario student saves father’s life with CPR

It was the middle of the night when Shane, a 17 year old Hamilton student, was awoken by a loud sound. It was his mom screaming out his name. “I knew something was wrong,” says Shane who rushed downstairs to find Tim, his father, unresponsive on the floor.

While his younger brother, Jordan, called 911 and ran to get help from the neighbour, who is also a nurse, Shane quickly jumped in and started CPR. “It was a fight or flight response,” says Shane. “I felt completely level-headed,” he adds.

When the neighbour arrived, she took over compressions while Shane did the breathing. Together, they continued CPR until the paramedics arrived. Tim was defibrillated twice before he was transported by the paramedics.

“At the hospital, I kept pacing around the floor,” remembers Shane. “When the doctor came out after surgery and told me my father was doing well I cried,” he says.

Tim, a healthy 50-year-old, says his owes his life to his son. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Shane. I am just happy to be able to wake up every morning,” he says.

“Not in a million years did I think I’d ever have to use the CPR I learned in high school. You never think it’s going to happen to you, or someone close to you,” he says about the high school CPR training he received in Sherwood Secondary School.

Shane, who hopes to one day work in the health field, will be taking health and fitness at Mohawk College in the fall. He hopes he can use his father’s story to convince people of the importance of CPR. “I don’t know what I would have done without the training,” he adds.

The ACT High School CPR Program was set up in Hamilton high schools in partnership with lead community partner, First Ontario Credit Union, provincial partners, the Government of Ontario and Hydro One, and health partners, AstraZeneca Canada, Sanofi Canada, and Amgen Canada.

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is the award-winning, national charitable organization dedicated to establishing free CPR and AED training programs in high schools across Canada. ACT raises funds to donate mannequins and teacher training to schools, and guides schools in program set-up and long-term sustainability. Over 3.6 million youth have been trained in CPR by their teachers through this lifesaving program to date.

Football coach and ACT instructor saves a life

It was an exciting day in October for Anthony Macaluso, football coach and Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School ACT instructor. He was invited to teach coaching during a NFL event in Dundas Square, Toronto. The day was going smoothly, until Anthony and his colleagues heard a loud noise. “Looking over, we noticed that a worker at the field kicking contest station had collapsed hitting her head when she fell. She started to convulse. That is when I ran over and started the lifesaving process,” he recalls.

Anthony quickly dialled 9-1-1 and cared for the young woman while her seizure continued. When her seizure stopped, he saw that she began to turn blue. Checking for breathing, Anthony found that the woman’s breathing had stopped. He opened her airway and she immediately gasped for breath. The woman regained consciousness and Anthony assisted her until the paramedics arrived

Throughout the incident, Anthony recalls feeling concern for the woman, but never once doubted his ability to help. “I didn’t feel nervous. I just immediately went into the zone and my training just came back to me”. The teacher was relieved when the woman regained consciousness and alertness before being transported by the paramedics.

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Speaking about the importance of students learning CPR during their high school education, Anthony says: “It is like a tool to have under your tool belt. You hope it does not leak, but if it does, you have your wrench handy!”

Ever since the set-up of the High school CPR program in 2008 in the Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary school, Hamilton, more than 370 students have been trained every year. This initiative was made possible thanks to the support of community partner, FirstOntario Credit Union, our provincial partners, Government of Ontario, Hydro One and Ontario Trillium Foundation and our national health partners, AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi Canada.

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is the award-winning, national charitable organization establishing free CPR and defibrillator training programs in high schools across Canada. ACT raises funds to donate mannequins and teacher training to schools, and guides schools in program set-up and long-term sustainability. More than 2.9 million youth have been trained in CPR by their teachers through this lifesaving program to date.