A History of Why We Do What We Do

Teri and Kevin LucasWhen my third son, Kevin, was born, he seemed to be a normal, beautiful baby. But on his second day of life, I noticed a bluish tinge to his legs on his inner thighs. After calling this to the attention of first the nurse then the pediatrician, our family began a long journey into cardiac medicine. By four months, Kevin’s test began to look normal, and the doctor told us that the problem, a possible hole in his heart or a problem with a heart valve, had seemed to correct itself.

Still, wanting to be as prepared as possible for any event, I took my first CPR class in the late 1970’s when CPR was first being taught to people not in the health care field. During the class the students were given only about five minutes to practice on the manikins and still received a CPR card. As I left the class, I had no confidence that I could perform CPR and prayed that I would never have to use it.

Kevin continued to grow, but when he was about nine years old, after he fell from some playground equipment, the doctor showed me his x-ray and we realized that Kevin’s heart had become very enlarged. As his condition worsened, Kevin was placed on the heart transplant list. He received a new heart on May 7, 1991. Unfortunately, Kevin collapsed and died from rejection on October 27, 1992.

Since that very first CPR class, I’ve not only begun teaching CPR, but I’ve also used it to save the life of a sixth grade boy. I know this training works to save lives.

I made a promise to myself when I became a CPR/First Aid instructor, that I would never have a student leave one of my classes without the confidence that they could perform the skills of CPR. That they would have all the time they needed to practice on the manikins and feel competent and comfortable with the skills. Now, with Kardiac Lifesavers, named for my son, Kevin Lucas, I have the opportunity to provide that assurance to everyone.