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When 18-year-old Oliver invited his friend, 19-year-old Lennox, to spend the night at his home in New Westminster, BC, he had no inkling that Lennox would become his saviour.

They were engrossed in video games during the early morning hours when they decided to switch to watching a movie. As Oliver settled onto his bed, Lennox was startled by his thunderous snoring.

“I stood up and tried to talk to him, and there was no response at all. He didn’t respond to touch, didn’t respond to sound,” Lennox, a student at Capilano University, told Pique Newsmagazine.

Little did they know, Oliver was experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

Lennox swiftly remembered the CPR and AED training they had both received through the ACT High School CPR and AED Program at Pemberton Secondary School two years earlier. He lowered Oliver to the floor, dialed 911, and commenced CPR, continuing until paramedics arrived. They subsequently transported Oliver to the hospital.

Oliver was initially taken to the local hospital and later transferred to St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. There, he underwent a successful surgery, during which a defibrillator was implanted beneath his skin. This remarkable device was designed to deliver a lifesaving shock to Oliver's heart should it cease to beat once again.

Tanya, Oliver's mother, says that just four days before his sudden cardiac arrest, Oliver had started wearing a monitor to determine if a fainting episode he experienced earlier that month was linked to his heart. In that episode, he had collapsed while playing basketball at Douglas College, where he is studying sport science in his pursuit of becoming a professional coach.

Oliver and his family are profoundly grateful for Lennox's swift response.

It's crucial for everyone to learn CPR. You never know when someone might need it. — Oliver

Oliver emphasizes the importance of CPR, saying, "It's crucial for everyone to learn CPR. You never know when someone might need it."

Boyd, the teacher at Pemberton Secondary School who trained both Oliver and Lennox through the ACT High School CPR and AED Program, takes immense pride in Lennox's use of his lifesaving skills. The program aims to see all students empowered to save lives.

"It doesn't require much time or effort to teach someone CPR and how to use an AED," he says, "even if they need to put it into practice 20 or 30 years later."

Six months later, Oliver experienced another sudden cardiac arrest while at home with his mom and friends. Fortunately, his defibrillator fulfilled its crucial role, restarting Oliver's heart before the ambulance arrived.

Since then, Oliver has made a complete recovery and has returned to the basketball court.

The ACT Foundation established the ACT High School CPR and AED Program at Pemberton Secondary School in BC in 2012 so teachers could train students, ensuring all students graduate with lifesaving skills.

ACT’s BC provincial partner is BC Emergency Health Services, and ACT’s national health partners are AstraZeneca Canada and Amgen Canada.

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is the award-winning, national, charitable organization 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. More than 4.8 million youth have been trained in CPR by their teachers through this lifesaving program to date.