Daily Local News (West Chester, PA)
Downingtown students learn hands-only CPR
Aidan’s Heart Foundation trained Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center students
Aidan’s Heart Foundation trained Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center students how to perform CPR.
More than 1,000 Downingtown students learned how to perform hands-only CPR.
Aidan’s Heart Foundation trained more than 1,000 Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center students on Tuesday and Wednesday about how to perform hands-only CPR and how to use an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).
Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center Principal Thomas Mulvey praised Aidan’s Heart Foundation and its representatives for their efforts to teach the students the lifesaving training. In the school’s third year, this program has been offered yearly, collectively training more than 3,000 sixth-grade students. The foundation is a nonprofit organization with a vision to make Chester County a “heart safe place.”
Aidan’s Heart Foundation was established in November 2013 in honor of Aidan Silva, who died unexpectedly at 7 from sudden cardiac arrest in September 2010. Aidan was the oldest son of Steve and Christy Silva, of Downingtown. Aidan would have graduated from the sixth grade center last year with the class of 2016.
Christy Silva, executive director of Aidan’s Heart Foundation, talked with the Marsh Creek students prior to them learning CPR. They heard Aidan’s story, and learned how sudden cardiac arrest can happen to young people. They also learned the warning signs of cardiac arrest.
Silva thanked the medical volunteers, many from Chester County Hospital, for assisting with the training. Additionally, the students learned from Downingtown Middle School students who are “Heart Heroes” and have obtained CPR certification through the foundation to train their peers.
“This year, we are thrilled to welcome 35 seventh and eighth graders who have taken the American Red Cross course, earned their certifications, and are here with us today and tomorrow to help their younger peers learn how to save a life,” Aidan’s Heart Foundation Facebook page stated on Tuesday. “These students are true heroes. We are grateful to them for their hard work and volunteerism.”
Silva additionally thanked Downingtown Middle School physical education and health teacher Greta Neff for coordinating with the foundation and the students to work together. Both schools are in the Downingtown Area School District.
“It takes an army of volunteers, and a generous PE/ health faculty team, to make our CPR and AED trainings a huge success,” Aidan’s Heart Foundation Facebook states.
Susan Pizzi coordinated an adult CPR class for parents, along with assistance from Chester County Hospital and Minquas Ambulance of the Downingtown Fire Department.
Aidan’s Heart Foundation hosts free kids heart screenings. It has placed more than 30 AEDs, mainly in Chester County youth athletic leagues, parks and schools. Its
major fundraiser is the 5K for Aidan J. Run/Walk for Heart-Safe Communities.
Aidan’s Law was passed in April 2014. It establishes a database as part of each school’s annual report to the state Department of Education to identify how many AEDs they have, where they are located, and the age of each AED, according to www.aidansheart.org.