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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Heart Month highlights importance of CPR training

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Thursday, February 8, 2024   

February is American Heart Month and experts and survivors are highlighting the importance of CPR.

CPR could help someone survive in the event their heart stops working.

Kyra Smithlin, a cardiac arrest survivor from Puyallup, said in 2012 she was laying down with her 9-year-old son, Bryce, when it seemed as if she was having a seizure.

"He ran and got his dad and my husband came in and started CPR right away because he could tell I wasn't breathing," Smithlin recounted. "And then my 9-year-old called 911 and held the phone to his dad's ear while he was instructed on CPR."

Smithlin noted she received 40 shocks to the heart at the hospital when staff told her family to say their goodbyes. Her son sat and talked with her. When she woke up from a coma three days later, she asked for a pen and wrote "Bryce is amazing." Smithlin has been appointed as a member of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Real Woman survivor.

Smithlin emphasized she is grateful her husband went to a CPR class and did not hesitate to go into action. She advised at least one family member in a household have these skills.

"Seventy percent of the time, cardiac arrest doesn't happen in the hospital," Smithlin pointed out. "It happens at home, and so the odds of you having to use CPR will be on a loved one."

Smithlin has a pacemaker implanted now and said she gets tired every so often but is thankful to be alive.

"I'm just so happy to be here," Smithlin stressed. "You don't take a second for granted. Your friendships, your loved ones mean the world to you and you just hug a little bit tighter every day when you see them."

People can find CPR courses at heart.org/nation.

Disclosure: The American Heart Association Western States Region contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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