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Asbury Park Press

"Daughter's brush with death sparks CPR advocacy role"

On Aug. 28, 2005, all in Farley Boyle's life seemed right with the world. She had just come home from the hospital with her newborn daughter, Abigail. Her two other daughters, Mackenzie and Chase, now 5 and 3, had a little sister.

But within seconds, everything turned upside down.

"The day I was coming home with a brand new life, I almost lost my 2-year-old," Boyle, of Little Silver, said.

Chase, then 2, fell into the Shrewsbury River while her family's backs were turned and was submerged for an estimated 90 seconds before her father, Patrick, pulled her to the surface. Fortunately, her father knew CPR and was able to bring Chase back from the edge of death.

"I was looking at a child that was no longer on the planet," her mother said. "'Chase, breath for Daddy!' " he was screaming. Her eyes were lifeless saucers. After two rounds of CPR, she vomited."

Farley Boyle with daughters
(from left): Chase, 3, Abigail, 16 months, and Mackenzie, 5.
Since that awful day, Boyle, 35,has made it her mission to educate new parents about the need to become familiar with CPR.

"The average response time for an ambulance is anywhere from six to 12,minutes. In our community, it took the ambulance three minutes," Boyle said. "We had to wait only three minutes for the ambulance to respond, but..."

Chase didn't have three minutes, she said.

"I thought to myself, how many aren't educated about this?" she said.

That's when this former fashion model became an advocate. In the weeks that followed, Boyle founded "C.H.A.S.E. for Life," a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting infant/child "CPR Heimlich Awareness Safety Education."

Since its founding, Boyle has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the cause, produced a short animated film, appeared on NBC's "Today Show" and partnered with Meridian Health Care to show the film to new mothers still in the hospital.

Donna Sellmann, public relations manager for Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, said Meridian just started showing the video recently, after the health care system's executives and medical professionals approved it as an ideal educational tool.

"We've been showing it in the maternity unit at all three hospitals," Sellmann said. "We offered it to the moms and the dads, even the grandparents, before the mothers are discharged. Every person we have offered it to has wanted to see it."

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