L-R: Dana Edkins-Wherry with students from Carisbrooke College and Mrs Southwell
Local Community News


Isle of Wight resident Dana Edkins-Wherry has started her journey to teach life-saving CPR to as many secondary school pupils and youth community groups as possible.

Dana, from Newport, was crowned a ‘Heart Hero’ by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) in 2017 following her fundraising challenge to travel as far as possible in 4 days without any food or money. The challenge came about after Dana discovered that she has a rare genetic heart condition and was in the early stages of heart failure.

There are around 30,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests each year of which sadly 90% of these patients die. The survival rate increases to 45% if a bystander performs CPR. CPR is life-changing and very important to know as you never know when you might need to deliver CPR to a stranger, friend or family member – it really does make the difference between life or death.

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Now a volunteer for the British Heart Foundation, Dana has recently visited Carisbrooke College to teach CPR to 120 students.

Dana explains:

“Carisbrooke College’s Head of Year, Charlotte Hookey, was very keen to pilot this with her year group. In total, 120 pupils were taught CPR.

“This delivery comes ahead of the proposed plans by the Education Secretary to add CPR into the school curriculum, which is due to be rolled out in 2020. This is after the BHF set up a petition to make the government listen as they strongly believe the best way to ensure everyone knows CPR is to teach them in secondary school.

“It was very rewarding teaching the students. I went home everyday thinking the more people that know CPR the more lives we can save. I’m now looking forward to carrying on my CPR journey”.

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Mrs Hookey said:

“It has been a real privilege to be involved in the CPR training for the whole of Year 9 at Carisbrooke College. The students have approached this topic with maturity and enthusiasm and have been surprised at how much energy it takes to deliver CPR properly.

“The students are now equipped with a life saving skill of CPR and have commented that they feel more confident to help someone if they need too”.

Each pupil was awarded a certificate and information booklet to keep.

The College plans to get Mrs Edkins-Wherry in to teach any pupils moving up to Year 7 so that eventually every pupil at Carisbrooke will be CPR trained.

A mufti day was recently held at the school which raised a fantastic £433 for the BHF.

Anyone who wishes Dana to teach CPR to a local group can contact her by emailing [email protected].

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