Meredith Broyles said she chose to become a CPR instructor through the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Project S.A.V.E. program because she knew first hand just how vital CPR can be in a critical moment.
“I wanted to focus my project on helping others to become CPR certified because last August, my grandpa had a heart attack and was given lifesaving chest compressions from my uncle before the paramedics arrived,” she said.
Broyles, through the help of school nurse Elizabeth Hanna, got in touch with Richard Lamphier, coordinator of Project Sudden Cardiac Death: Awareness, Vision for Prevention and Education, or S.A.V.E, a program that was created to educate school systems about pediatric sudden cardiac death, making them aware of possible early signs and the need for a timely response.
Lamphier became Broyles’ mentor and helped her become certified as an instructor to teach others the life-saving techniques.
“Going to schools to teach students about sudden cardiac death is a big part of Project S.A.V.E,” he said. “We provided CPR training and classes for Meredith and then I monitored her teaching a class.”
So far, Broyles has instructed 24 attendees, including 17 high school students, on CPR — an accomplishment that had a lasting effect for someone far from her classroom.
While on a service trip in Central America, one of Broyles’ students was able to perform the CPR techniques he learned through her class in order to help a member of his host family who suffered an epileptic seizure.
Now, Broyles said she wants to keep teaching others in the community about the importance of being CPR certified.
“It’s a life-saving skill that can double or even triple the chances of survival,” she said. For more information about Project S.A.V.E, visit www.choa.org.