CPR Training in Memory of WNEM News Anchor to be held Aug. 24 in Saginaw

The images of that day are forever branded in my memory. February 25, 2016. It was the day I lost my husband, Sam Merrill, and my son lost his father. Heart disease took him from us.

It was a snowy day and Sam went out to shovel before heading to work as a news anchor for WNEM TV5 (Saginaw-Flint). The driveway was cleared and the three of us were beginning our day. I remember walking down the hall and finding Sam’s lifeless body on the floor. I knew it wasn’t good. I called 9-1-1 and began CPR. There were so many thoughts crashing through my head. The noise was deafening…until I heard my 5-year-old son ask me if his daddy was sick. Time stopped in that moment and silence reigned, as I looked up into James’ eyes.

70% of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed. Source: American Heart Association, CPR Statistics

A friend of mine who is a cardiac nurse arrived, along with emergency personnel, and they did everything they could to save Sam, but it was too late. Moving forward as a family, and forging a new path for James and I, is the hardest thing I have ever done.

I am sharing our story because I want good to come from this tragedy. I want you to be prepared in the event someone you love suffers a cardiac event, as Sam did on that cold, snowy day. I take comfort in knowing that I did everything I could in that moment to save my husband. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I was faced with feelings of “I wish.” I wish I knew CPR. I wish I was able to help him. Please educate yourself. Learn CPR.

The American Heart Association shares that 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes. Unfortunately, only 46% of cardiac arrest victims get the immediate help that they need.

Merrill FamilyMy family is hosting a hands-only, community CPR training in Sam’s memory on Wednesday, August 24, at 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm at the Freeland Sports Zone (Saginaw, MI) sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. The trainers teaching the CPR sessions are from our additional partners at the Pulse 3 Foundation and Mobile Medical Response (MMR) and are all American Heart Association-certified CPR instructors. Please join us. The class is free and it only takes an hour to learn this lifesaving skill. Click here to register

About the author: Katy Merrill

If you enjoyed reading this post, you may be interested in:

Photo Credit: Greg Clarke via Flickr (feature), Andy Smith via Flickr (inset), Courtesy image via Merrill Family (author photo).

Editor’s note: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a proud sponsor of this event.

(Visited 2,135 times, 1 visits today)

Read 2 Comments

  1. Sam would be so proud of what you are doing. What an excellent way to keep Sam’s memory alive. You are doing a great service to the community. If one person is kept alive, you’ve won. We should all know CPR. Thanks you.

  2. I will never forget Sam, you or James… Sam was the best in the news for a long many years… May God bless you always… In my prayers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.