Posted at: 07/03/2012 11:46 PM
| Updated at: 07/04/2012 11:03 AM
By: Jessica Layton
COLONIE - Casey Stashenko already has a bunch of soccer trophies in his bedroom.
But his latest award gets a special place in the family room.
"You would never really think that would happen," said 14-year-old Casey Stashenko, whose had a birthday since the terrifying incident.
The teen was honored Tuesday night by members of the Shaker Road Loudonville Fire Department and Colonie EMS for saving his dad's life.
Back on May 31, Joel Stashenko collapsed at the family's Colonie home after going into full cardiac arrest. Mom, Claudia first started CPR, but admits she was panicking.
"Casey came by and said, 'You're doing it all wrong,' and pushed me out of the way. I felt helpless and he didn't. He was empowered," said Casey's mom, Claudia Hutton.
Casey took over, doing CPR to keep his dad alive until EMS arrived and took over.
"Community involvement is so important on a cardiac arrest because the quicker you can start the better," said Shaker Road Loudonville Fire Chief David Leonardo.
Casey learned how to do the chest compressions in health class at Sand Creek Middle School. The Stashenko family doesn't even like to think about what might have happened if Casey wasn't at school for that important lesson. They're urging everybody considering a CPR course to stop thinking about it and go do it.
The Red Cross estimates less than five percent of people nationwide are CPR trained.
"One of the first things we're going to do once Joel is recuperated is all get fully certified in CPR," Claudia said.
Because you never know when you may have the chance to save someone's life.
"It gives you pause of course and makes you think of the future, to do a better job of taking care of yourself," said Joel.
But they're all smiles now, excited to show off this shiny plaque, knowing the real prize is a healthy dad -- and a kid who kept calm when it counted most.
A heart attack victim's chance of surviving triples when a bystander performs CPR before help arrives. So knowing CPR cannot be overstated.
American Red Cross Regional CEO Gary Striar says these days there's no excuse to not be trained. The Red Cross is now offering offering classes that teach "hands only" CPR. It takes less than an hour to learn. That's in addition to their involved courses in CPR and first aid.
Your local fire department may also offer classes.