Reason No. 13: What if her Daughter Hadn’t Known CPR?

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Norwich woman was part of last week’s CPR Rally at the Capitol

 (June 2014) On Tuesday, June 3, Doreen Rowe and her daughter Amy of Norwich stood in the Well of the Legislative Office Building in the Capitol next to a 6 foot tall banner that had Doreen’s image on it. Rowe was in Albany to meet with her legislator and join the American Heart Association’s CPR Rally.

Rowe is Reason No. 13 that the American Heart Association is urging passage of the CPR In Schools bill.

“After dinner one evening last December, I thought I had indigestion,” Rowe said. “I was going into cardiac arrest. My 25-year-old daughter Amy called 911, and did CPR for 23 minutes. She saved my life. I was in a coma for eight days, but I am doing well now. Doctors still don’t know what caused my heart to stop. What if my daughter hadn’t been there? What if she hadn’t known CPR?

“I joined about 100 American Heart Association volunteers at the state Capitol in a CPR Rally. I met families there who had lost loved ones to sudden cardiac arrest. It brought home to me how very lucky I am that my daughter knew CPR. I hope the state Legislature passes this bill quickly so that nobody else dies because CPR isn’t performed.”

Since May 5, on every legislative day, the American Heart Association has shared a story of a New Yorker impacted sudden cardiac arrest with lawmakers and media, and shared it on social media.

At the CPR Rally at the Capitol, a gallery of 24 banners, each about 6’ tall, was unveiled. The banners, like the reasons, depict people alive because someone knew CPR, people who lost their lives to sudden cardiac arrest, or people who saved someone using CPR. Volunteers also demonstrated how easy it is to perform CPR. Then, American Heart Association volunteers met with their legislators to advocate for passage of the CPR in Schools bill.

Each year, 424,000 people suffer out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest. Only 10.4 percent survive. Having CPR performed doubles or triples the chances of survival.

Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, D-Long Beach, and Senator Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, introduced a version of the CPR in Schools legislation (A9298/S7096). The bill is in the Education Committee in the Senate, and last Tuesday, was voted out of the Assembly Education Committee and is in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

“CPR is a lifesaving solution,” said Weisenberg. “As a former police officer, school administrator and lifeguard, I know firsthand that we need bystander CPR to save lives. Many people are alive today because individuals trained in CPR — including youth and adults who received that training in school — gave someone CPR until EMTs arrived. I’m committed to passing the CPR in Schools bill so that we can create a generation in which New Yorkers are prepared to save lives.”

“Schools prepare students with essential life skills, and CPR skills are among the most critical lifesaving skills that make our communities safer, year after year, said Grisanti. “It’s time to add New York to the growing list of states that have passed this legislation. I’m honored to sponsor the CPR schools legislation in the New York State Senate and I am proud to work in partnership with the American Heart Association and families in western New York to help make this bill become a law.”

“It was extremely moving at the CPR Rally to see the banners with people who had collapsed with sudden cardiac arrest and are now alive,” said Dan Moran, chair of the American Heart Association’s New York State Advocacy Committee. “And it was heartbreaking to see mothers standing next to banners with pictures of children who died of sudden cardiac arrest. CPR is easy and affordable.  Sixteen other states now have CPR in Schools laws.  What is New York waiting for?  Time is running out to pass the CPR in Schools bill this session.  It would be a shame for the legislature to adjourn without passing this bill.”

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