Marked Tree HS student saves woman's life thanks to school's CPR training

MARKED TREE, AR (KAIT) - Marked Tree High School senior Ericha Clark is a busy young woman.

"I'm on flagline. I'm flagline captain. I'm in Color Guard for JROTC. I'm working on being part of National Honor Society. I do community service when I can.  I'm part of band. I'm part of FCCLA," she said.

The 17-year-old can also add lifesaving to her list after helping a woman who collapsed at a football game on Friday, Sept. 3.

"I ran over there. Everybody was just standing around and she was laying on the ground and she was shaking like she had a seizure.

Ericha participated in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training at Marked Tree High School three days before the incident.

She says the woman had a faint, slow pulse, and was struggling to breathe. Because of her training Ericha decided against chest compressions.

"I started to (do chest compression), but then I saw that wasn't the issue," she said. "I lifted up her head and she threw up all over me."

Arkansas legislators approved Act 1016 in April 2013, which will require Arkansas high school students to receive CPR training before graduating beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.

Laura Cook, the Arkansas Department of Health community health nurse specialist who taught Ericha's CPR class, says the new requirement follows American Heart Association guidelines.

"I'm teaching them how to do the compressions if someone has collapsed and they're not breathing," she said. "You never know who you're going to be around that collapses. It's not just elderly people that have heart trouble. It could be any age from a young child, on up."

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