PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It is possible that a lot has changed since you learned CPR, and the people at the American Heart Association are using National CPR and AED Awareness Week to spread the word.
One family is now sharing their story after nearly learning the lesson the hard way.
“Call 911 and push hard and push fast in the middle of the chest,” said Joe Laskowski, a community CPR manager. “The American Heart Association has been endorsing this since 2008.”
Three North Hills High School basketball players demonstrated how CPR is done. It’s hands-only now, and hard work to make 100 chest compressions every minute.
“After seeing the video and having these guides, it is definitely much easier than you think,” said Brandi Williams, a junior at North Hills High School. “I mean, I think anything helps as long as you get there and try, you can at least help to save a life.”
The video plays the disco song “Stayin’ Alive” from the 1970’s movie, “Saturday Night Fever.” It’s a light-hearted way to teach how fast you have to keep moving to keep someone alive.
“If I tell other people my story it will inspire them to also not be afraid to jump into action when it is needed,” said Cletus McConville, Jr., who suffered a cardiac event.
McConville was a high school football player in Ligonier when he collapsed in class. A quick response to do CPR by the nurse and secretary saved his life, and CPR also saved the life of his younger sister, too.
“Her rescuer was named Harry Neil and he knew CPR and immediately administered that to her,” said Shawn McConville, their mother.
“Just to know that there were people there that were prepared and definitely confident in what they were doing, and not afraid, that means a lot.”
Experts say 360,000 non-hospital cardiac events happen in the U.S. every year, and 90 percent of victims die because they don’t get CPR quickly enough.
“Don’t think twice that it’s not going to make a difference or just wait for someone else to come and help because sometimes that can be just a little bit too late, and I would hate to think of that with either one of them,” said Cletus’ mother.