It’s been just over three years since Arizona resident Jane Powers’ life was saved by Major League Baseball umpire Jim Joyce. He witnessed her collapse from sudden cardiac arrest in the Arizona Diamondbacks stadium tunnels and responded immediately using CPR skills he learned in his youth working as a lifeguard.
Her life was saved August 20, 2012 and since then, Powers has made it her mission to train people in CPR so that more lives can be saved. Instead of having a traditional birthday party for herself, she hosts CPR training parties.
“These CPR birthday parties started as a result of my cardiac arrest. When I was home recuperating in my condo, neighbors came over to see how I was doing. There were 35 people in my living room and I asked everyone in the room if they knew CPR,” she said.
“The answer from every single person was ‘no.’ This was right before my birthday, so I decided to change my birthday celebrations into CPR training parties. My brother, John, attended with his family, he was the first person to use his training within six months of being trained at a construction site in downtown Phoenix.”
The parties have evolved since, she said, and traveled around from Phoenix, to Florida where Jeff Urgelles from the Marlins taught the class. Urgelles, an off-duty paramedic and Marlin’s catcher coordinator at the time, assisted Jim Joyce with CPR for Powers. The next stop for her CPR birthday party is St. Augustine’s Church hall in Highland on Thursday, November 12th at 7:00 PM.
Why Highland? Her fath
er was the volunteer treasurer for the American Heart Association in the Hudson Valley back in the 1970’s and this was a way to honor his service. She plans to train members of the St. Augustine Knights of Columbus, family and friends from Millbrook, where she grew up.
Powers invites people to learn Hands-Only CPR, recommended by the American Heart Association since 2008. Hands-Only CPR has just two easy steps: If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, (1) Call 9-1-1; and (2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the disco song