For Monica Jinglewski, every CPR class she teaches is personal.
Since 2010, the owner of Advanced & Basic Life Support has taught hundreds of students how to help someone having a heart attack.
Some of her students are health care professionals who want to learn the latest changes in CPR techniques. Others are learning the rescue method for the first time.
Jan. 17, 2013, is the date Jinglewski learned there’s still a huge number of people who don’t know CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator, or AED, device. On that day, her cousin’s son, Cory Wilson, whom she considered to be like a nephew, was in a business class at Georgia Southern University when he suddenly collapsed. No one in the class -- not the students, the teacher nor the security staff who arrived on scene -- knew what to do.
More than 10 minutes passed before anyone in the class even attempted CPR. A victim usually suffers brain damage after four to six minutes of suffering a heart attack.
“When Cory collapsed, there was no AED available (in the building),” Jinglewski said. “When security showed up, they had left their AEDs in the vehicle and had to go back and get them. It’s very sad. They have a world-class campus, but their whole system (for rescue) fell apart that day.”
At the time, Jinglewski said, Georgia Southern had just eight or nine AEDs on campus, and most of them were near the athletics facilities. Now, a year later, thanks in part to fundraising efforts by Wilson’s family, there are 148 AEDs on campus at very accessible locations.
On Friday, Jinglewski and Charles Matson, a Middle Georgia State College associate professor in respiratory therapy, gave instructions to the staff of the Middle Georgia Heart & Vascular Center. Though the medical staff has had training in CPR before, some members of the office staff had not. The two-hour session included instruction in the Heimlich maneuver, how to intubate a patient, CPR and the use of an AED. June is National CPR Month.
April Rocker and Erica Johnson, two medical assistants with the practice, said they’ve received CPR instruction before, but the American Heart Association updates its procedures fairly regularly, so the course is necessary to stay up to date.
“A lot of things have changed since the last time (I took a course),” Rocker said.
Since Jinglewski’s course also demonstrates the differences in performing CPR on an adult, a child and an infant, Johnson said the extra information and training is helpful.
“I have kids, and I need to know the difference,” she said.
Terry Babcock, who works as a patient services professional at the practice, hasn’t been trained in medical procedures but has wanted to learn ever since her husband, Don, passed out one day in his pickup with a brain hemorrhage. He survived.
“It’s good to know how to do it,” she said. “It’s good training for your personal family. It’s easy to pick it up.”
Jinglewski said the survival chances for someone having a heart attack increase by about 10 to 17 percent if someone can quickly and properly give CPR. The survival rate shoots up to 75 percent if there’s an AED available to treat the patient.
Matson said there are enough AED devices at Middle Georgia State’s Macon and Warner Robins campuses that a person can get to one and bring it back to the victim within three or four minutes. He said more AED devices are slated to be added to the Cochran, Dublin and Eastman campuses.
AED devices can be expensive -- Jinglewski said a new one costs about $1,800 -- but there also are refurbished devices available that are up to date and cost about $500 each.
The cause of death for Wilson, her relative, was listed as fatal cardiac arrhythmia, but Jinglewski said medical examiners were unable to determine what caused it. Wilson had no history of heart problems and lived a very healthy lifestyle when it came to eating and exercising. The autopsy and toxicology reports both were negative, she said, but a DNA test was botched, so there’s no way for the family to know the cause, Jinglewski said.
Since then, the family has organized several events in Wilson’s name to raise money to buy AEDs and to benefit the American Heart Association.
The family has created the Fireball 40 baseball tournament that will run Aug. 1-2 in Savannah. Last year’s tournament raised $20,000 to purchase AEDs. In addition, this year’s American Heart Association Heart Walk that’s taking place across Georgia has been dedicated to Wilson’s memory.
In Macon, a 5K race and costume walk on Oct. 25 known as the SCARE (Sudden Cardiac Arrest Research & Education) Run will be held at the Hephzibah Children’s Home, 6601 Zebulon Road. The money raised from that event will be used to buy AEDs for the community.
Jinglewski said there’s no reason anyone can’t learn CPR and other lifesaving techniques. Had even one person in that Georgia Southern building known what to do that day, Jinglewski is convinced Wilson would still be alive.
“There is no excuse for him to have died that day,” she said.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.