HEALTH

Clay Foundation offers free "CPR parties"

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(WJLA) - Three-year-old Clay Metro spent two weeks in a coma after nearly drowning at a community pool a few years ago. A family friend performed CPR the way he had seen it done on TV until medics arrived and saved Clay’s life.

"I was sort of ashamed and surprised that I didn't know CPR,” said his mother, Laura Metro, who didn’t know how to help her son that day. But she has since learned CPR and now wants everyone else to as well.

To that end, Metro created the Clay Foundation and recently launched “Free CPR parties” for anyone across the country.

"A long long time ago I was certified by the Red Cross for it, but there's nothing like a refresher and reminder on how to do things," said parent Louise Canavan.

The Clay Foundation covers the cost of the instructor to teach infant, child, and adult CPR – as well as how to use an automated external defibrillator, or AED.

"One of the things I've been thinking about is having my husband have some of his friends, because I would also like the other adult in our house to know CPR," said parent Bridget Calhoun.

Though it isn’t a full certification course, it teaches all the basics in just 90 minutes.

"It's easy to squeeze into your day -- especially for something this important...now I feel empowered to help somebody," said Heather Denchfield.

These skills can make all the difference if a person goes into cardiac arrest. If all a bystander does is call 911, the chance of survival is 2.5-percent – but if CPR is started immediately and an AED is used within three minutes, survival goes up to 80-percent.

"I think people are afraid to do CPR because afraid they'll hurt somebody and you really can't hurt somebody who is already dead," said Rescue One CPR instructor and EMT, Pamela Witczak.

Metro hopes that by moving the training into homes and with friends in addition to making it free, more people will learn these lifesaving skills:

"That's what we're trying to do, is bring CPR to the masses. Knowing something is better than not knowing anything -- doing something is better than doing nothing at all."

For more information, visit the Clay Foundation.

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