Why the CPR in Schools Bill Matters to Me


Guest Blogger: Karen Dionne, Stroke Survivor

It’s a fact, medical emergencies happen every day.  No one thinks anything bad will happen to them.  That’s human nature, right?  But if something happens to you or a loved one will you be prepared to take action immediately to save a life?

As a Go Red For Women Ambassador for the American Heart Association South Sound, I am surrounded with amazing friends, many of whom are survivors of heart disease or stroke.  Each story will captivate your attention and leave an impact on you about heart disease and stroke prevention.

One special friend and fellow Go Red For Women Ambassador comes to mind and her name is Carol Mathewson.  She is a sudden cardiac arrest survivor and is alive today because a stranger performed CPR on her after she sank during the swimming portion of a triathlon a few years ago.  Her story touched me deeply which led both my husband Michael and me to become CPR certified immediately.   Proudly she serves today as the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association Tacoma-Pierce County, WA Chapter co-chair with Angela Taylor.

When I was asked to participate in the You’re The Cure efforts in Olympia to pass the CPR in Schools bill, I was honored to do so for not only my friend, but the thousands of others who may be in need of CPR one day.  It made sense to me that all high school students should be taught this lifesaving skill before they graduate high school.

Since November 2012, I’ve made five trips to Olympia to lobby our legislators about the CPR bill.  I am a volunteer and I made it known to them that this was a bill I was passionate about and I wanted them to feel the same.  So on my sixth trip to Olympia I was so proud to watch Governor Jay Inslee sign this bill into law preparing our next generation of first responders.

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