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Monmouth Health & Life
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Mom On A Mission

How A Near Tragedy Gave this 'Model Mother' A New Purpose

Profile - by Barbara Franzesa Cron

Are you ready to save a child's life? A glamorous model named Farley Snow Boyle wants to know.

The face of Little Silver resident Boyle, 35, may be familiar. She recently helped to launch a new line of Lee jeans and appeared in ads for L'Oreal beauty products and Absolut vodka. She's even been on the cover of Prevention magazine. But it's an image from her own life as a parent that haunts her: her 2-year-old daughter Chase - inert and blue, eyes wide open, mouth gaping - being pulled from the water by her frantic dad.

Thankfully, the incident in Boyle's waterfront backyard in August 2005 had a happy ending. Her husband, Patrick, performed the Heimlich maneuver to eject water from the child's body, then began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and soon, as Boyle says, Chase was "back on the planet." Grateful that her little girl had survived a near - drowning intact in every way, she "knew immediately that I wanted to give back to the universe on some level."

Her crusade began just days later with what she calls a "cocktail clinic" in her living room, as her local EMS team gave a crash course to her family, friends and neighbors on how to save a life until help arrives. Just a week later, one of the guests administered the Heimlich maneuver to a girl who was choking on a hot dog. That was sign enough for Boyle. She threw her abundant energies into a campaign to spread knowledge of the Heimlich and CPR to save lives.

You could say she already had a crusader's spirit. Growing up in Sarasota, Florida, Boyle heard from her parents that she could do anything she wanted, and she took that advice to heart. After earning a B.A. at Jacksonville University, where she had a volleyball scholarship, Boyle was a news intern with CBS television's Jacksonville affiliate, then turned down a job with the station to accept a modeling opportunity. Since then, her modeling career has taken her to Miami's South Beach, Chicago and New York. And she's appeared on the Discovery Health network's Runway Moms, a reality TV series about the lives of models who are also moms. The show followed her third pregnancy and had planned to film the Boyles and their new baby at home on the day of Chase's accident. The segment was completed another day - with a more serious message than originally expected.

Boyle still works as a model, and Chase, a thriving 3-year-old, has carried on the family tradition; she has appeared in magazine ads and on billboards for Baby Gap and will be seen in a Ralph Lauren campaign this spring. Today she shares her mom not only with sisters Mackenzie, 5, and Abby, 1, but also with a nonprofit organization, CPR/Heimlich Awareness Safety Education, or C.H.A.S.E. for Life. Boyle founded the group to promote awareness of these lifesaving techniques, giving them a modern, user-friendly face and educating the community about them.

She has made an 18-minute instructional video and has worked with local hospitals including Monmouth Medical Center to make sure all new moms receive CPR/Heimlich instruction before being discharged. After all, she says, they're shown a warning film about "shaken baby" syndrome and required to take their babies home in a properly installed car seat.

"Your whole life you're trying to figure out why you're here," says Boyle. "Then suddenly all the pieces fit together. I realize I was meant to use all my connections, to call in favors and use my place in the public eye to save children."

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