BREAKING NEWS: Daughters Save Mother’s Life After Learning CPR Through HeartSafe Program

Joe Kelly Hero-1 Resized

UPDATE April 24, 2015: Two Petaluman’s use CPR to save lives, by Matt Brown.

We have been reporting on these amazing stories about our local youth stepping up and saving lives using skills they learned at school and from our local programs. In October 2014 we share with you  “Save Lives Sonoma” helps 13-Year Old Lewis Save The Life Of His Father with CPR and in December 2014 we posted 10-Year Old Penngrove Boy Saves His Mother’s Life in #Petaluma (a post that went viral and is still gets a lot of traffic today).

We learned about another amazing story that took place on ‘tax day’ in April.

We thank Tami Bender of Petaluma Health Care District (PHCD) for providing this information from Jeff Schach, Petaluma’s Battalion Chief,  along with info about PHCD’s HeartSafe Community.

Petaluma Fire Chief Jeff Schach (Photo by BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)
Petaluma Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Schach (Photo by BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

Jeff Schach, Petaluma Battalion Chief says “We have linked several cardiac arrests saves to our efforts. the most recent occurred on April 15th, 2015.”  A Petaluma 51-year-old woman suffered a cardiac arrest while making breakfast.  Her daughters, a 7th grader at Petaluma Junior High School and the other a high school student at St. Vincent, called 911 and started CPR on their mother.  When Petaluma Firefighters arrived they were able to get her heart beating normally again with a few shocks and rounds of CPR.  She was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial and then transferred to Kaiser in San Francisco. She now has an internal defibrillator and no deficits.  Her cardiac arrest was caused by an electrical dysrhythmia, not from blocked coronary arteries.  She credits the quick action of her daughters with saving her life.  Her 7th grade daughter learned how to do Hands-Only CPR this past January during PE class at school through the Save Lives Sonoma program, supported by PHCD’s HeartSafe Community.


“Save Lives Sonoma” helps 13-Year Old Lewis Save The Life Of His Father with CPR

                    Photo Kent Porter, Press Democrat, 2014

According to an Press Democrat Article “Forestville teen saves dad’s life and EMS1’s based on the same Randi Rossman Press story Calif. teen’s CPR saves father, impresses responders“,  Lewis Griffith, a 13-year old from Forestville, learned how to save his father’s life in a P.E. class at Forestville Academy.   This education was part of a countywide effort by a coalition of emergency responders and health agencies called Save Lives Sonoma. They target and teach seventh-graders hands-on CPR.  According to the article his father slumped unconscious and not breathing on the kitchen floor, and Lewis announced to his startled mother he knew what to do.  Firefighters arrived on the scene with the teen working on his father on his own.

The article provides background from #Petaluma’s Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Schach who adds “The reason we picked seventh-graders is they’re smart enough to learn it and teach it to the rest of their family and friends and they’re not too cool for it yet,”  Schach, who coordinates Petaluma Fire Department’s efforts with Save Lives Sonoma, said about 2,000 people in the south county have been taught, including hundreds of middle-schoolers. Hundreds more area students are slated to get the training in the next several months.  “We’re already seeing results,” Schach said, noting five people have been saved by someone stepping up to do the chest compressions in the past two years. “There’s been a drastic increase in the amount of bystanders doing (hands-only) CPR.”

Here is a video from the Save Lives Sonoma YouTube page released about 4 months ago.