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The Canadian Institute of Health statistics reveals that: " approximately 40,000 Canadians go into cardiac arrest each year and only 14% survive. If it happens outside of a hospital the chances fall to a tiny 5%.

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women. Many heart attack victims never arrive alive at the local hospital. Sadly, less then 14% of Canadians are trained in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation ."

Please do not shoot the messenger. It is not all bad news; there is an upside to the story. CPR is being taught to students at the Thames Valley School Board.

If you are experiencing chest pains, difficulty breathing you have a great chance of surviving if you are fortunate enough to be driving by a high school and encounter a teenager.

When I wrote for the Londoner I paid a visit to Saunderís Secondary School to meet with Rob Waugh and Jan Marcus. 300 students a year at the school are given training in CPR

Dave Inglis, Learning Co-ordinator Health & Phys Education k-12, is owed a vote of thanks for giving of his time to do the certification of all the Thames Valley physical education staff.

I watched with interest at Robís class of 25 teens role playing what to do if they came upon a person not breathing with no pulse in the cafeteria. The students went through the protocol: call for help, direct a bystander to dial 911, check for vital signs, clear the air way and perform CPR.

There is no time to wait for emergency responders because death is inevitable without quick action.

Tom and Jarrett proudly paired off to demonstrate to the class their expertise. They were aware that one only has 4-6 minutes before there is brain damage. If there was a need for their training they could help save a life.

70 % of all incidences of having to perform CPR is performed on loved ones.

I dropped into visit Janís class of group of 24 girls performing CPR on the "dummies". Jessica and Kim both 14 years of age went through the scenario of what to do with an unconscious victim who is not breathing.

Kim, a very courageous young women with Asthma told me that she isnít afraid when she canít breathe at school. "She is kinda used to it, having to suffer through the side affects since she was a youngster. The staff/ students at Saunderís care and know when and how to help. She feels safe."

Jan Marcus took me aside at the end of class to tell me that she really believes in the CPR training of our youth. The teens will not freeze out of a sense of fear. They will not cut and run but rather step forward with the confidence to make a difference.

After seeing the enthusiasm of our youth in learning the basics of life skills I was very proud. Thousands of high school students in London have acquired the knowledge to save a life.

There is a saying that:" he/she that saves a life saves the whole world." Take a moment to praise/ hug your teenager. Who knows, someday they may save your life?

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com