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It was a spring evening, and Meghan was having fun with her friends at a high school dance in Waterloo. A couple of hours in, one of her friends approached her to let her know she was feeling sick. “I went to the bathroom with her. When we got to the stall, she sat on the ground and fell unconscious,” she recalls.

Quickly, Meghan asked another girl to get help and to advise security at the dance. “I had taken the CPR course in my gym class earlier in the year, so I knew the dangers of what could happen if I just left my friend there. Using the information I learned in class, I rolled her onto her side into the recovery position,” says Meghan.

A couple of minutes later, the young girl started throwing up. Meghan ensured her airway was clear, and that she was breathing as she stayed by her side.

When security arrived, her friend regained consciousness. She was then taken to the first aid room. “I found her mom’s phone number in her list of contacts and gave it to security so they would call her parents,” says Meghan.

“I knew how to react because I learned CPR in high school. It was very helpful knowing what to do. If I wouldn’t have followed the course, I probably wouldn’t have known what to do when she collapsed,” shares Meghan.

The ACT High School CPR and AED program was set up in St David Catholic Secondary School in 2011 in partnership with Kitchener-Waterloo EMS, provincial partners, the Government of Ontario, Hydro One and Ontario Trillium Foundation and ACT’s national health partners, AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi Canada.

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is an award-winning, national charitable organization dedicated to establishing 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 3.2 million youth have been trained in CPR by their teachers through this lifesaving program to date.