Famed Speaker Makes Jubilant Return

Thanks Responders Who Performed CPR, Used an AED, Saved His Life

“You guys saved my life. It doesn’t get any better than that!”

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Dr. Stephen Sroka

Those were the first words uttered by Dr. Stephen Sroka at the Medina Performing Arts Center on Friday morning, October 21, 2016, on the very stage where 9 months earlier, he died.

Dr. Sroka, President of Health Education Consultants and a popular speaker at professional educational and school safety conferences, suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed on January 15, 2016, while delivering a presentation on heroin use to the staff of the Medina City Schools.  Fortunately, two School Resource Officers and an associate principal were able to respond immediately.  All had received CPR/AED training.

“We were at the right place at the right time,” said Officer Mike Wesner. “I mean we were there within seconds.”

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School Resource Officers Al Roland, left, and Mike Wesner with Dr. Stephen Sroka on Octiber 21, 2016

Officer Wesner retrieved an automated external defibrillator (AED) while Officer Al Roland performed CPR. Associate Principal Andy Brenner, who had received AED training just two weeks earlier, administered the shock that restarted Sroka’s heart.

He has returned to the lecture circuit, but Dr. Sroka’s message now includes support of CPR and AED training, such as that offered by the American Red Cross.

Log onto redcross.org, click on Training and Certification, and enter your zip code to find a list of classes, times and locations.  Classes are also available for groups, organizations and companies.   Call Phil Ormandy at 216-426-5080 for more information.

“It saves lives,” Stephen Sroka notes. “I can attest from my still beating heart.”

Two Hands, One Heart

Thirty-eight members of the Cleveland Sight Center’s Winners Club attended a Citizen Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) course taught by Red Cross volunteers and staff members on Tuesday, February 9. The club is comprised of Sight Center clients who meet monthly for an activity or speaker.

Photo credit: Mary Williams/American Red Cross Staff Member

The Red Cross has a goal of having at least one person per household that can perform CPR, should an emergency situation arise. Statistics show that nearly 85% of cardiac arrest cases happen at home. Most people who survive a cardiac emergency are helped by someone performing CPR.

Most bystanders to a cardiac arrest will site one of two reasons why they didn’t help: they didn’t know how to perform CPR, or they were concerned about performing mouth-to-mouth.

The Citizen CPR course taught by the Red Cross is  hands only CPR. Because it can help save lives, many health organizations advocate performing chest compression even without breathing assistance.

Hands only CPR is very easy to learn. If you have 2 minutes and 13 seconds, right now, you can learn by watching the video below or clicking on this link to view the YouTube video:

To see a list of first aid and CPR courses in your area, visit www.redcross.org/take-a-class.