Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The best thing to be thankful for, and a great gift idea

By Patricia Billinger

Jody Connally had reason to be thankful for this Thanksgiving: He is alive, thanks to his two teenaged children.

A year ago on Thanksgiving Day, Connally was changing the oil on his truck with his then-17-year-old son, Matthew, when Connally collapsed of sudden cardiac arrest. Matt ran to the house and told their mom to call 911, then pulled his dad from under the car and began CPR. His sister, Kate, who was 14 at the time, came to his side to help. Kate had learned CPR through a Red Cross babysitting course, and she performed rescue breaths while Matthew continued compressions.

“I had passed away,” Jody said. “The doctors told me I experienced sudden cardiac death.”

But his children’s efforts helped bring him back to life. Their use of CPR kept vital blood and oxygen flowing to his brain until emergency responders could arrive and transport him to the hospital.

“My kids really rose to the occasion. I love them more than anything,” Connally said.

Here at the Red Cross, we are thankful for all the everyday heroes like Matt and Kate Connally, who have used skills to save a life. We’re also thankful for the dozens of local volunteers who help to teach our CPR, First Aid and AED courses here in Colorado.

As we head into the holiday season, we ask you to consider giving the ultimate gift this year: the gift of life. Learn how to perform CPR and use an AED, or give a loved one the gift of training. The Red Cross is offering 20% off all courses through 1/31/12 if you use the coupon code HOLIDAY0113 when you book a class online or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

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