CLOSE TO MY HEART

By Avanti Nagral

I was born with a hole in my heart which closed up at the age of 5. But some people aren’t as lucky. There are people who die of heart failure and cardiac disease every single day. In India alone, the numbers of preventable deaths due to these issues are almost unfathomable. I have started consciously noticing the ambulances on the road – stuck in traffic, beeping away at the hordes of traffic in front of them. With a city like Mumbai bursting at its seams, it is nearly impossible for an ambulance to always reach its destination on time. India’s infrastructure isn’t equipped to deal with this growing problem. What can I as a young citizen of this country and this world do, before it is too late? CPR is like swimming – it is a life skill. If you learn its proper technique once, you have learned it for life. The beauty of CPR is that you only need your own two hands and the willingness to take a chance, in order to make a difference; to help save a life. Rather than being a passive bystander, you have the ability to take charge of a situation. I believe in the power of the youth. By the year 2020, India will be the youngest country in the world. Imagine the force of a youth network that is empowered to help save lives by one simple technique. People will be able to sleep peacefully at night knowing that there is someone in their home, their neighbourhood or their community who has the capability to rescue them from impending doom.

Time taken to learn CPR: Half a day.

Effort exerted to learn CPR: Minimal.

Reward: Priceless.

How can we save lives? Through CPR.

AN ACT OF TRUE LOVE

By Krisha Mansukhani, student from The Cathedral and John Connon School, Grade 9

I remember that day as though it was yesterday: getting pulled out of school, being taken to the hospital, thesilent car ride with my aunt, walking out of the lift, and not noticing anything but my crying mom. The memory of going in and seeing my father lying unconscious and still in a hospital bed, with tubes running all over, is forever embedded in my head. It just took so long to register that the same man who dropped me to school in the morning was lying here now. But when it sunk in, I broke down. I heard all the talk about how it was a miracle and how there were so many miracle workers – especially my mom. For 40 minutes his heart flatlined and he was gone and I wasn’t there. Yet, he came back because neither my mom nor the doctors gave up.My mother was in the car with my father. She gave him CPR. She kept him going till the hospital even if it was for a little while. It may have been the 17 shocks or 8 injections that made his heart work normally but it was my mom’s CPR that kept him alive for enough time to reach the hospital. My father was revived after the worst 40 minutes of my life. My mom is no doctor, but she is a saviour only because of her knowledge on CPR. So many patients who suffered because of heart attacks and didn’t survive could have been saved if there were citizens who cared and took the initiative to learn CPR. I know that people with the knowledge of CPR can save lives. This knowledge helps more than you can imagine.When most people talk about CPR they just brush it off and think they will never use it in their lives. I know this is a fact as my thought process worked in the same way. I never thought that I would need to use CPR or that any of my family – especially my parents – would need it. I never gave much importance to my mother’s medical training from her job as a flight attendant (which included being certified in CPR). I always stated that she would never use it in her life. However, I was proved wrong.Everything in life happens for a reason – that is what I have been told my entire life. So what happened with my father definitely taught me that in life we should always be prepared for the worst, no matter how lucky and privileged we are. When we talk about CPR, some people say only doctors do it when they shock the patients, but that is not true. I remember talking to the doctors after the surgery and they all congratulated my mother on her presence of mind.My father is back home. He was in a coma and has to learn how to walk, talk and live again but it is worth it just to have him here. Without the CPR that saved him, he would not be here today. I think that learning CPR should be taken seriously, as anything can happen to anyone at any time, and life cannot be predicted.

I am now proud to be a certified YCPR representative as i truly know the value of CPR and if its performed at the right time it can save precious lives.