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AHA Advocates Testify At CPR in Schools Public Hearing.


American Heart Association (AHA) volunteers from around the state traveled to Hartford to testify at the Connecticut Public Health Committee hearing to support a bill requiring Connecticut high school students learn hands-only CPR prior to graduation.

Seven volunteers attended, including Leigh Pechillo, a mother from Southington; Valerie Cassidy, registered nurse and paramedic from Norwich; and Norwalk High School senior Mahika Jhangiani.

Pechillo told the Public Health Committee members how she survived a massive heart attack only because of the fast actions of her husband who performed CPR on her after her daughter found her on the bathroom floor. 

Cassidy, who teaches Hands-Only CPR to freshman students at Hartford Public High School’s Nursing Academy, told the committee members that her goal is to train 150 students and she hoped the committee would support Senate Bill 684 requiring all high school students receive CPR training.

“I was glad to take a day to testify in Hartford for this life-saving legislation. We are all part of the Chain of Survival when it comes to cardiac arrest. Connecticut will be a safer place to live when we pass this bill,” said Cassidy.

Norwalk High School senior Mahika Jhangiani also testified at the hearing. Jhangiani has been giving CPR trainings at several Norwalk schools as part of her high school independent study project.

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