More than 326,000 people in the United States suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually. If more people knew CPR, more lives would be saved. I am one of a few people who has performed CPR, has received CPR, and even more rare, married my lifesaver!
I was just 27 years old when I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was working on a really hot day performing a tree survey. While taking a break, I fell to my side and became unresponsive. Fortunately for me, our crew had learned CPR just two weeks prior to that. No one had a cell phone at that time, so one of my coworkers ran a ½ mile to find a phone and then it was almost 15 minutes after that when the paramedics arrived. CPR was performed for almost 30 minutes by my coworker, Jeff. I was in the hospital almost a month after my cardiac arrest, received an AICD, and after that I came to the realization that I wanted to become a nurse. I wanted to be able to help people the way that the nurses had assisted me. Of course I then had to marry the man that saved my life. We now have two sons in college and they also owe their lives to Jeff taking action that day.
I recently became an advocate for the American Heart Association because I want to promote people learning CPR. In a medical setting, many staff are available that are trained in CPR, but for a person out in the community, their life could depend on someone in their vicinity being CPR trained. That is why I believe that CPR training should be a requirement for graduating from high school. How could any of the the information learned in school be more important than knowing how to save the life of a friend, a parent, or a child? The benefits of learning CPR are not only that you could save the life of a stranger, but you could also help to save someone near and dear to you. The person that you save will be forever grateful, but I feel that it is an even greater gift to that person’s loved ones.
Lisa's story was recently featured at the Lincoln Go Red for Women Expo in Lincoln NE. CLICK HERE to watch the video of her amazing story!