Alberta woman honoured for performing CPR on father for 20 minutes: ‘She saved her dad’s life’

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WATCH ABOVE: A young woman from Leduc County is being recognized for saving her father's life in their own home. Su-Ling Goh explains – Feb 6, 2017

An Edmonton area woman who performed CPR on her father for 20 minutes, saving his life, was honoured by Alberta Health Services on Monday.

On Jan. 15, 2016, Maslyn Dansereau was studying in her Leduc County home when she heard a loud “thunk” come from where her father was exercising. The 20-year-old ran into the basement where she found her dad face down on the floor. She couldn’t find a pulse.

“I kicked into overdrive and thought, ‘I need to do CPR now,'” Dansereau said.

Dansereau said she tried to keep her mind off the fact it was her dad, and instead focused on the task at hand.

“I thought, ‘this is a person, they need me, they need help and I need to do CPR right now.'”

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The MacEwan University student had her mom call 911 while she performed CPR. She continued CPR until paramedics arrived and used an automated external defibrillator (AED) to restart her father’s heart.

READ MORE: AED, quick action credited with helping to save the lives of two men

Dansereau’s father, Martin, was taken to the University of Alberta Hospital where he underwent surgery. Martin spent time in the hospital’s critical care unit and has since made a full recovery. AHS said he shows no ill effects from his heart attack.

“I mean it when I say she’s my hero. She’s my hero. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here. We’ve always been close, but how much closer can you be?” Martin Dansereau said.

On Monday, Maslyn Dansereau was recognized by AHS and had the opportunity to reunite with the paramedics who arrived at her home to transport her dad to hospital. She received a citizen lifesaving award for her incredible efforts.

“Maslyn did everything right,” said Alex Campbell, an EMS public education officer. “She saved her dad’s life.”

As part of her schooling for psychiatric nursing, Dansereau had taken CPR courses but had never performed it on a person before.

Only seven to 10 per cent of Canadians survive cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

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“Early bystander CPR is the critical link in the chain of survival because the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest drops drastically for every minute that passes with no activity,” Campbell said.

“When we arrive, there’s so little chance of survival that we try our best, but unfortunately it very seldom has a positive outcome.”

READ MORE: Vice-principal helps save student’s life with CPR

Since Martin Dansereau’s heart attack last year, the family has worked with the Heart and Stroke Foundation to develop a course about heart health and how to react in emergency situations. The course it called “It Could Be You.”

Martin Dansereau said if cardiac arrest happened to him, it could happen to anyone.

“I was healthy, I didn’t have a history. Just because you don’t have a family history doesn’t mean you’re not a candidate,” Martin said.

“It’s so important that you learn how to do CPR, know where an AED is and know how to use it. It could be your life. It could be your wife, it could be your husband, it could be someone on the street. You could save a life and it’s as simple as taking a course.”

AHS recommends people take CPR courses through accredited institutions such as the Heart & Stroke Foundation or St. John’s Ambulance.

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