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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.