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Millstone residents honored for life-saving efforts

Twenty-six individuals and organizations in New Jersey, including two residents of Millstone Township, were recently honored at the American Heart Association 2019 New Jersey Heart and Stroke Heroes Awards for their life-saving efforts.

The American Heart Association Heart and Stroke Heroes Awards is held annually to commend individuals, organizations and schools throughout the Garden State 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 or stroke emergency, according to a press release.

The American Heart Association Chain of Survival is a 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.

The five critical steps or “links” in the Chain of Survival are:

• Early Access (know the warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke and call 911 immediately);

• Early Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR);

• Early Defibrillation;

• Early Advanced Care;

• Integrated Post-Cardiac Arrest Care.

Two Millstone Township residents received a 2019 Heart and Stroke Heroes Award. Madeline DiMezza and her mom, Teresa, had returned home from field hockey game in September 2018, according to the press release.

Madeline was about to step into the shower when her father, Steven, called her cell phone and urged her to check her mom. He had just spoken to his wife and he sensed something was wrong.

When Madeline found her mom in the upstairs bathroom, Teresa could not walk, talk or move the left side of her body. Madeline recognized the symptoms of stroke and immediately called 911.

After spending several days in intensive care, cardiac care and then several months of rehab, Teresa is doing well today. She attributes her husband’s intuition and her daughter’s quick recognition and action to call 911 to saving her life, according to the press release.

Anyone can learn CPR and know the signs of a stroke. Visit heart.org/handsonlyCPR for a short instructional video on hands-only CPR that could help save a life.

The American Stroke Association suggests remembering the acronym FAST to recall the most common signs of stroke. FAST stands for:

• Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the mouth lopsided or uneven?

• Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

• Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

• Time to call 911 – If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.

For more information, visit stroke.org

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