People Take on the Heart-y Party CPR Challenge

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-Heart disease is the number one killer of South Dakotans. People learned helpful skills to keep their heart healthy and possibly save a life all while grocery shopping.

People are taking on the Heart-y Party CPR Challenge. With the help of the American Heart Association and the Avera Heart Hospital participants learn hands-only CPR, so they can learn how to help someone whose collapsed.

“It’s important that you know what to do, your immediate actions will make the difference between life and death,” said Mary Houska, Avera Heart Hospital Patient Care Tech.

You never know when something like this could happen Mary Houska knows this first hand. The first time she did CPR was in ninth grade.

“I was swinging on a monkey vine with my best friend, it collapsed and I saw her lifeless body laying next to a tree. she wasn’t breathing and so i started CPR on her. I was so fortunate that three months prior I went to my girl scout meeting and in came a lady with a mannequin and she was like ‘okay we’re going to show you how to do CPR.’ I learned enough in that class to save my best friends life in that fifteen minutes to save my best friends life,” said Houska.

Houska can attest that CPR is easy to learn, even for kids.

“It only takes a few seconds, we demonstrate and then they come in and they do it, do some practice,” said Houska.

“You’re going to put your hands in the center of the chest and you’re doing CPR, so you’re going to do chest compressions hard and fast until help arrives or that person starts to respond.”

Although this is an important skill to know, organizers say prevention is key.

“We know that 80 percent of Heart Disease is preventable, so by learning about healthy eating and learning about a physical activity lifestyle, we can hopefully prevent emergencies from happening in the first place,” said

Organizers say they hope having these public education events can help save a life.


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