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The Scoop

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Hands-only CPR saves husband

Statement issued Friday by the city of Fort Wayne:

Fort Wayne, Ind. – On May 4, Bryan Ryker, a husband of more than 25 years and father of four children, suffered a cardiac arrest at his Fort Wayne home. His wife, Christy Ryker, performed chest compressions until the Fort Wayne Fire Department and Three Rivers Ambulance Authority arrived.

Mrs. Ryker learned hands-only CPR through the Don’t Miss a Beat CPR training in May 2010. Today, Mayor Henry recognized the couple as the first known “save” because of the Don’t Miss a Beat program, an event the Mayor has backed the past three years, and encouraged more residents to become skilled in hands-only CPR.

“When I took office, I was committed to making more Fort Wayne residents skilled in how to perform CPR. Through the work of the Three Rivers CPR Task Force, our community partners and the participants who took less than an hour to learn the important skill of hands-only CPR, we can now credit a life saved to the Don’t Miss a Beat program,” Mayor Henry said. “We never know if or when we might need this, but it is so important that each of us knows how to save a life.”

In the case of the Rykers, both of them and their 12-year-old son attended the training almost a year to the date to when Bryan Ryker suffered his cardiac arrest – without ever thinking that one of them would benefit from the class. Mr. Ryker was unaware of any family history of heart problems prior to his cardiac arrest.

“We are so happy we took the Don’t Miss a Beat class. The 911 operator, the first responders and the emergency room doctors and nurses were all amazing. However, they told us their services might not have been needed if I hadn’t administered CPR immediately,” Christy Ryker said. “I want to encourage anyone who has a loved one to take the course. Give someone a chance.”

Mayor Henry invites anyone 12 or older to the next Don’t Miss a Beat training on Wednesday, July 13, 2011, at the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Community Center, 233 W. Main St. The free 45-minute classes begin at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. as part of the Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival. Registration is available on site.

At the Don’t Miss a Beat training, participants will use manikins or special kits to learn in about an hour how to perform compression CPR. Trained and experienced CPR instructors teach the classes and volunteer their time for this program.

The non-certified classes are open to anyone 12 or older and do not include a written test.

Comprising the Three Rivers CPR Task Force, the City and Three Rivers Ambulance Authority, American Red Cross, Focus on Health, Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health, Parkview Health and Lutheran Health Network have offered this non-certified training since October 2008. More than 1,100 people have been trained in the Don’t Miss a Beat program.

Compression or hands-only CPR focuses on chest compressions only, no breaths, to keep blood moving in an adult victim whose heart has stopped beating. It has become increasingly popular in recent years, as research has shown it to be effective in helping to save lives.

For more information, call (260) 427-1164, visit 3rcpr.org or e-mail 3rcpr@cityoffortwayne.org.

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