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Allentown residents honored for saving life

ALLENTOWN – Three residents of Allentown were among the individuals and organizations recently honored at the American Heart Association 2016 New Jersey American Heartsaver Awards.

The American Heartsaver Awards is held annually to commend individuals, organizations and schools throughout New Jersey for taking extraordinary steps to strengthen the American Heart Association Chain of Survival or for rescue efforts that saved a life of someone experiencing a cardiac emergency, according to a press release.

The Chain of Survival is a critical five-step process that can mean the difference between life and death for someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack or stroke, as well as other medical emergencies such as choking and drowning, according to the press release.

Nearly 350,000 people suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital every year and only 10 percent survive. Given immediately, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) doubles or triples survival rates and executing the Chain of Survival can save thousands of lives annually, according to the press release.

Allentown residents Michael Conroy, Anne Marie Searing and Alexandra Searing  were honored during an awards ceremony that was held at the Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Center for Health and Wellness in Mercerville.

According to the press release, on Oct. 14, 2015, Kevin Searing suffered sudden cardiac arrest. His wife, Ann Marie, recognized he was in trouble and started CPR immediately while Alexandra jumped into action by calling 911 for help.

While giving CPR, Ann Marie called her neighbor, Michael Conroy, who she knew was an emergency medical technician in Allentown. Within moments, Conroy ran to the Searings’ house to help. He quickly assessed the situation and joined Anne Marie in administering CPR to her husband.

Paramedics arrived and Kevin was administered two shocks from an automated external defibrillator. The shocks were able to stabilize his heartbeat. Doctors said that without the quick actions of Anne Marie, Alexandra and Mike, Kevin would not have survived, according to the press release.

According to the American Heart Association, people of all ages can and should learn to administer CPR. Visit www.heart.org/handsonlyCPR for a short instructional video that could help save a life.

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