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Just two days after completing CPR training at school, 14-year-old Nadine saw her friend Kayla shoot up from her cafeteria seat and grab her throat.

“Everyone thought she was kidding around and pretending to choke,” said Nadine. “But I saw the way her head was dropped back…and her eyes were rolling back into her head.”

Nadine said she knew she had to act quickly.

“I was kind of scared because I didn’t want to do anything wrong,” said Nadine. “But obviously it was worth a try.”

Nadine said she performed about five abdominal thrusts on Kayla, until the carrot she was choking on was dislodged.

“At the end when I saw her take a huge breath of air it was a huge boost of confidence for me,” said Nadine, adding that Kayla immediately gave her a big tearful hug. “Obviously I did it right, and I saved her.”

Just 4”10, Nadine surprised everyone when she moved quickly to save Kayla – who is 5”3.

“She is a bit smaller than me so it was kind of cool how she could do that,” said Kayla. “I’d say taking this course is a good idea because you don’t know when something like this is going to happen.”

Nadine admits she never expected she would use the skills she learned in the ACT High School CPR Program, a lifesaving program taught in her high school phys-ed class.

“To be honest, I never thought I would use it,” she said. “But you never know when this will happen, so always expect the unexpected.”

“I’m certainly proud of both girls and all the kids in the class,” said teacher Lisa. “Now they have the ability to go out and help others.”

“I would say the ACT High School CPR Program is something that schools should adopt wholeheartedly, one hundred per cent,” said Lisa. “There really is no question.”

“She amazes me,” said Lina of her daughter Nadine.

“She only took the course two days before, but she knew Kayla was in trouble,” said Lina. “I am so proud of her. She saved her friend’s life.”

“I just can’t believe that I actually did it,” said Nadine. “Knowing that I actually did this makes me proud of myself, and I now know that I can do anything.”

The ACT High School CPR Program was made possible in the Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School thanks to the generous support of ACT’s partners including the Government of Ontario, Hydro One, Shoppers Drug Mart and The Ontario Trillium Foundation. Mannequins and curriculum resources were donated to the school and the teachers were trained as CPR instructors for their students. Also responsible are ACT’s core partners, 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.

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. More than 900,000 youth have been trained in CPR through this lifesaving program to date.