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

Guest Blogger

| 3 min read

CPR training
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.
My 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.
Merrill Family
About the author: Katy Merrill
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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.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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