High School CPR bill could be lifesaving legislation

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BALTIC, S.D. (KSFY) - The American Heart Association is pushing a new bill that would require every South Dakota high school student to learn CPR before graduation.

Senate Bill 140 is music to one mother's ears, who says her life could have been much different if this law would've been around 5 years ago.

"I just don't want any other parent to have to go through that," said Ann Thompson.

Its been a long and tough 3 years for Ann, Troy and the Thompson family.

"Our son Adam went to take a nap, he's 16 years old, and within seconds of him laying down, we heard a large bang," said Thompson.

Thompson said Adam suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, but it was something her family was unaware of at the moment

"Adam was turning blue and i just stood there and watched. I stood over my son and i watched him die," Thompson said.

It's a pain she says has fueled her to make sure other parents or families don't have to share that same feeling.

"We had people come to us and they wanted to give money and my husband and I are, 'what do we do with this money'," Thompson said.

So, they started the Adam L Thompson Foundation, and beginning with the Baltic School District, the foundation has been able to provide over 15 school districts in South Dakota with a CPR kits or an AED.

"These kids learning these tools, they are going to know this for the rest of their life's. If I would've had the knowledge and the education about CPR and sudden cardiac arrest, my son might be with me today," added Thompson.

And pretty soon, the Thompson's may be receiving some help with Senate Bill 140, which aims to have every high school CPR trained before graduating.

"With all my whole heart I hope this bill passes because situations like ours hopefully will not happen. Every year, Abby will have her picture taken, and I, every year I get to update that picture. I get to see how she has grown, but i can't do that with Adam," Thompson said.

The bill will have its first hearing this Wednesday in front of the Senate Health Committee.