FLORIDA — A Jacksonville native’s five-year fight to get CPR training required in Florida schools is complete.
This week Governor DeSantis signed a bill into law that will require students in grades nine and 11 to learn CPR.
Shawn Sima explains, “Five years ago, we were looking at her daughter and we didn’t have any idea if she was going to come back to us or how she would come back to us.”
And when Sima’s daughter Lexi did, that was when he and his wife started their mission to make sure every child knows how to perform CPR.
“As soon as she got out of the hospital we knew that we wanted to do something to pay it forward.”
In 2016, Lexi was 16 years old she went into sudden cardiac arrest at the gym.
“All of a sudden my phone started blowing up.”
He raced to the gym.
“By the time I got to the gym they had done CPR on her and then used an AED to shock her back to life and it wasn’t medical people, it was bystanders in the gym who happened to be working out that night.”
Sima says those strangers are the reason why Lexi survived. And now he says more lives will be saved because of this new bill just signed into law.
It encourages CPR training from sixth to eighth grade but requires it in grades nine and 11.
“A couple common people were able to pass a law that’s going to save so many lives.”
But his fight doesn’t stop here. Next up is getting EKGs required to play sports in Florida.
“Studies show that over 90% of things that are going to kill our kids playing sports are missed on a school physical.”
He says adding an EKG to physicals will allow trained specialists to detect 90 percent of potentially dangerous medical conditions that often go unnoticed.
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