Vol. 33 • 2nd Quarter • 2008
Little Silver, NJ August 28th, 2005: The day I arrived home from the hospital from having my third daughter (Abby), my middle daughter (Chase) almost drowned in my backyard. What was supposed to be a fun family fishing trip with Grandpa, Daddy and Big Sis (Mackenzie) so that mommy and new baby could get some rest, ended in a 3 day trip to The Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Chase slipped between our floating dock and boat (which was still tied to the dock) without a splash or a sound only a few feet away from her family. Mackenzie recognized she was missing and told Daddy. Grandpa saw her underwater in between our boat and dock and Daddy sprung into action. Thanks to my hus- band's optional education in child CPR (I signed us up for a basic safety class when we were first pregnant) his confident, quick response saved her life. He was not certi- fied....but he was educated. Chase is perfectly healthy today and she is a water bug.
After being discharged from the hospital, I hosted a free hands-on CPR workshop for 30 friends and neighbors. One week later a neighbor saved her niece from an unconscious choking incident, our first testimonial.....we paid it forward in just 2 weeks time and I decided right then and there to make a positive out of a negative by forming a nonprofit, C.H.A.S.E. for Life, (CPR-Heimlich- Awareness- Safety - Education) with a mission is to educate/ empower anyone with a hand on a child with the basic lifesaving skills needed to sustain a life until help can take over. My daughter's name coincidentally became the perfect acronym; we created a logo, got incorporated, declared legally tax ex- empt and were open for business: www.chaseforlife.org
I truly believe we were the recipients of several miracles that near fateful day and were given a second chance because a higher power knew that we would use our "Happy Ending" to save others! Thanks to timing my modeling career was in the perfect place to use my voice to call in some favors so I got the media/press on board and C.H.A.S.E. became nationally recognized/validated in less than 6 months time. My daughter Chase was the face of Baby Gap's 2005 national holiday campaign which helped put our mission in the spotlight immediately. C.H.A.S.E. has sim- plified infant/child CPR education by creating hip, modern, user friendly resources. We have given CPR education a facelift with a little help from fashion, rock and animation. C.H.A.S.E. began serving Monmouth County, NJ one month after the drowning incident by hosting FREE hands crash course style workshops at schools, banks, community centers, etc. We have educated 4800 people to date. To date we have thrown 2 fundraisers and with all the monies raised we produced/created FREE in print re- sources like posters and pocket guides along with an 18 minute animated instructional short called "How to Save a Life" starring our iconic character "Paddy the Penguin." We envision Paddy becom- ing the "Smokey the Bear" of CPR. Please visit our website @ www.chaseforlife.org to view our film, download our resources, view my testimonial and all press/media we have received to date, etc. Our catch phrase is "You are in the know if you know what to do in a crisis". Now you can view "How to Save a Life" on the website of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Our film has become a part of maternity discharge policy and procedure in 14 NJ hospitals along with 5 in NYC validating us in the medical community. Johnson & Johnson is about to sign on to our cause making us GLOBAL partners under their Kids Safe Worldwide umbrella. We have the cure to a social problem and will be able to change statistics worldwide through prevention and awareness education. Our goals are realistic and obtainable.
CPR education slips through the cracks because it's boring, intimidating, costs money and takes time. C.H.A.S.E.'s goal is to empower anyone with a hand on a child with basic lifesaving skills so that they can sustain a life in the first 10 minutes of a crisis. The average ambulance response time in the U.S. is 8 to 15 minutes from when the call to 911 is actually logged. The clock is unforgiving and constantly ticking. 5 minutes without oxygen to the brain results in brain damage, 6 minutes results in brain death. Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 14. Car accidents lead this statistic followed by choking and drowning. Doing something is better than doing nothing and C.H.A.S.E is going to make sure people know how to do SOME- THING! Please help us get the word out and save children's lives.
C.H.A.S.E. wants to make sure that everyone is empowered with at least the basics. We work in supplement to accred- ited agencies and strongly recommend that they further their education by getting certified. However, these agencies along with the national CPR committees reassess guidelines every five years; changes are made as science evolves. Eventually the guidelines will reflect that breathing is an unnecessary step. The compression/breath count has gone from 15 & 2 to 30 & 2. Next it will probably be 90 compressions and no breaths, who knows? They all work. Doing something is almost always better than doing nothing and understand- ing what you are doing is everything.