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A mother from North Carolina has shown the true meaning of motherly protection after coming to her 17-year-old daughter’s aid in her hour of need.
According to local reports, Keianna Joe was warming up for a cheerleading competition earlier this month in Raleigh, North Carolina, when she suddenly collapsed. Upon seeing her daughter fall to the ground while the rest of the team was practicing a stunt, her mother, Andrea, rushed over to find that her daughter was non-responsive.
Realizing that she had gone into cardiac arrest, Andrea started doing chest compressions to try and save her daughter’s life. Luckily, Andrea is fully trained in CPR as she is a medical assistant at her day job. Without these skills and the speed in which she acted, the chances of her daughter surviving the ordeal would have been much slimmer.
Speaking to Today in an interview last week, Andrea retold her version of events:
“I saw her coach come running out of the back door of the other building screaming just frantically, ‘get an ambulance, get an ambulance. We need the ambulance here now. It was the scariest moment of my life.”
The Importance of a Defibrillator
While Andrea’s ability to perform CPR was vital, the outcome may have been different had there not been a defibrillator nearby. Fortunately, Andrea got her hands on an AED, an automated external defibrillator.
While all 50 states enacted laws and/or regulations which have made AEDs more visible and available in public spaces, there are no laws in North Carolina that state schools must have these devices readily available.
The AED that Andrea had access to delivered shocks to Keianna Joe’s chest, which helped restore her heartbeat. Andrea says she continued with chest compressions until medics arrived, taking her to a local hospital.
Keianna Joe was temporarily placed in an induced coma in an intensive care unit while doctors ran tests. Still, she has since been released from the hospital after having a small defibrillator implanted in her chest.
The 17-year-old said she feels “blessed” to be alive, while her doctor said that her mother’s actions “undoubtedly saved her life.”
Andrea Isn’t Finished Yet
As you would expect, the ordeal has had a huge impact on Andrea, and she is now setting her sights on starting a campaign to ensure that AEDs are installed in every school in North Carolina. Talking to the News Observer she said:
“I didn’t realize there are so many states where AEDs are not mandated in schools, and North Carolina is one of them. It’s a miracle the school in Raleigh had one, and it was working.”
She has recently taken to Facebook to say that she is hopeful that hers and Keianna’s story will inspire change and save even more lives down the road. Meanwhile, in a television interview with WRAL-TV she reiterated that “every facility that has any kind of athletes and children in at all, they need to have an AED.”
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As a full-time working mom of three, I know what it’s like to feel like life is out of balance and out of control.
While I don’t have it all figured out, I am committed to sharing helpful tips and tricks with other mommas who are ready to break free from negativity, ditch mom guilt, & finally, live life on their own terms.