JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — During the month of December, the American Heart Association in Central Kentucky is raising funds for infant CPR kits for families to take home with them if their child is born with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD).
The Collier Family in Jessamine County received their kit when their son Finn was born. He had five of the 12 CHD defects.
"When Finn was born we already had four kids at home that were super healthy. And we thought we had parenting down. And when Finn was born, everything changed," said Finn's mother Tricia. "Just going home with that kit knowing we had it at our disposal to review, as we needed to was the comfort level, so that we knew, 'we know this if something happens, no matter where we are, we can, we can do it.' Because you just have a minute, well, you don't even have minutes, you have about 10 to 15 seconds to start CPR once somebody collapses, and the quicker you can get to it and get going, the better chance they have for survival."
The kit comes with an infant-sized doll for practicing compressions and an instructional DVD.
"It is very self-explanatory," Tricia said. "It's simple learn it step-by-step. The great thing with the DVD is you can go back, watch it as many times as you need to."
The Collier family became very familiar with CPR as Finn coded at 21 months old, 4 years old and when he was 7.
His father, John, explained how having the kit in their house saved Finn when he was 7.
"Catherine [their daughter] was with Finn when he collapsed for the final time," John said. "She was here by herself-she and a couple of adult girls were here. At the time she was 17, and she knew enough about CPR because she had been through that; she'd seen what we had done. It could have been a lot worse. And we did get 10 extra days of Finn. While that we may not have gotten otherwise had she not been prepared."
Those extra 10 days were precious to the Colliers to spend before Finn's 7-year-old heart beat for the last time.
"Most people don't ever have to perform CPR once in their life," said John. "To watch a kid have to get three times is. Again, it's troublesome and cannot be educated and not have the tools at your disposal in the world in which we live in, there's no excuse for it."
John and Tricia went on to explain how simple CPR is to learn and something every parent should know.
"It saves lives," John said. "And the quicker you respond, the better off that that person will be. A lot of people are intimidated because you think about cracking that sternum. It's like, 'I don't know that I can do that.' Believe me, they'll thank you later."
To donate to allow the American Heart Association to give families in Central Kentucky infant CPR kits, click here.