June 1 – 7 is national CPR and AED awareness week, which is a reminder that anyone has the ability to help save a life by knowing how to perform CPR and use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).
Each year 1,000 Downingtown students at the Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center learn hands-only CPR. The program is hosted by Steve and Christy Silva, founders of Aidan’s Heart Foundation. Their son Aidan, a Downingtown elementary school student, died of sudden cardiac arrest in 2010. After he passed away at the age of 7, his family created the foundation to raise funds for heart screenings and to donate AEDs to local organizations.
|Submitted photo - Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center students learn hands-only CPR during a program at the Downingtown school hosted by Aidan's Heart Foundation.|
As part of a school-wide project, Marsh Creek students had a contest to take pictures of AEDs and name the location to inform others about it. There is an AED placed outside of the main office in their school. Including the graduating class, more than 3,000 Marsh Creek students have been trained in hands-only CPR to date.
|Photo by Ginger Rae Dunbar - This is the AED located in Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center, of the Downingtown Area School District.|
“We wanted to make sure no other parents went through what we did, losing a child,” Silva said to the students at a recent school assembly. “You as a group are changing lives and literally saving lives.”