On Feb. 22, 2018, Earlena Foskey, a childcare provider at VCU Health Child Care Center, administered CPR to Evie Louka, a 13-month old who became unconscious and unresponsive while in her classroom. Thanks to this heroic act, Evie is alive and doing very well.
During a surprise award ceremony at the child care center, Michelle McLees from the American Heart Association (AHA) presented Earlena with the association’s Heartsaver Hero award. Dr. Stephanie Louka, Evie’s mom, gave Foskey a personal token of her eternal gratefulness – a heart shaped life saver pin that she received in 2005 after saving a 45-year-old man with CPR while working as a volunteer EMT with a rescue squad in Virginia Beach. At that time, Stephanie was working full-time as an advertising executive, but this moment in 2005 prompted her to pursue her true passion, a career in medicine.
Today, Stephanie and her husband, Dr. Amir Louka, are both EMS fellows and clinical instructors in the VCU Department of Emergency Medicine. Because of Evie’s event, Stephanie and Amir have personally trained over 40 friends and neighbors in this life saving skill.
Learning Hands-Only CPR is a natural introduction to conventional CPR and has been shown to be just as effective. Hands-Only CPR has just two easy steps, performed in this order: (1) Call 9-1-1 if you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse; and (2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest.
CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. Yet, only 46 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from a bystander. In an effort to create more lifesavers, VCU Health and the AHA are working together to train the Richmond community in Hands-Only CPR at public events, workplaces and in high risk areas.
Visit heart.org/handsonlycpr to watch a 90-second Hands-Only CPR instructional video. You can find a CPR class near you at heart.org/findacourse.
NOTE: The AHA still recommends CPR with compressions and breaths for infants and children and
victims of drowning, drug overdose, or people who collapse due to breathing problems.