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Cardiac survivors teach CPR at National Mall in DC

May 27, 2023

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WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Four years ago, Edward Kosiec's life changed forever. The day started out normally for him. He ran ten miles to train for a marathon, went to a yoga class and stopped by Chick-Fil-A for lunch, when all of a sudden, he went into cardiac arrest.

A high school senior who happened to be trained in CPR was also in the restaurant at the time and helped revive and ultimately save Kosiec's life.

"If it wasn't for her, I would not be here today," he said.

That's why he started, Every Second Counts CPR, to raise awareness and train everyday citizens on how to perform CPR.

"I am here today because somebody cared," he explained, "because that one loved one, seventy to eighty percent of the time is going to be somebody in your family. So please, I beg you to please learn CPR."

Kosiec and several other organizations, including the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, spent Saturday on the National Mall in hopes of reaching a wider audience of weekend tourist foot traffic. They asked individuals walking around to take five minutes out of their day to learn how to perform CPR and operate an AED.

Kosiec isn't alone in what he experienced. 11-year old Isaiah Bangoura was playing basketball at school last year when all of a sudden, he collapsed. A school nurse performed CPR and kept him alive. He doesn't remember any of it happening, but he does remember waking up in the hospital, surrounded by his family.

"I was crying," he explained, "I was in disbelief that it happened to me."

Now, Isaiah, who is a multisport athlete, says he's been cleared to play sports again. He's most excited to get back out on the baseball field.

Several parents stopped by and learned how to perform CPR, including BJ, who says he has a one-year-old son and wants to make sure he knows what to do in case of an emergency.

"Everybody in those situations, they panic when things like that happen or they might want to call 911 or something," he explained, "but they might take too long for the paramedics to come and then now a child or an adult is dead."

The DC Fire and EMS Department offers free CPR training classes. You can find more information here.