For those of you who get weak in the knees over the sight of blood, the thought of seeing the inside of a heart probably makes you queasy. Not the MEGA Heart and you can take a tour of it without stepping foot into an operating room, you will have to go to the Avera Heart Hospital though.
This is a MEGA Heart. The Avera Heart Hospital brought in the world's one and only portable inflatable heart exhibit as an interactive tool for school kids, their parents and anyone else who wants to see up close what heart disease can look like from the inside out.
Student Stephen Osterberg says, "The MEGA Heart is a lot of fun. It should be more fun to learn stuff so you can keep your body safe."
Stephen Osterberg is with this group of 3rd graders from Holy Spirit who got an eyeful when they took a walk through the Superior Vena Cava and the Aorta.
Kym Osterberg is the Education Coordinator at the Avera Heart Hospital. She says, "As you know Nancy, heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in this country and it's important for kids to know about it so they can take steps to prevent getting heart disease."
Not only did they invite 250 school children to come to the Heart Hospital to see the MEGA Heart, they also set up different teaching stations throughout the main floor. This one (they were doing jumping jacks and high knee jumps) really got their blood pumping which was exactly the point.
3rd Grader Zoe Matheison says, "I've learned you should exercise everyday and not eat that much junk food."
Seeing is believing. They put out examples of how much fat is in fast food sandwiches by putting crisco oil on buns. They also tell the kids that if they eat 100 extra calories a day for a year.. That adds up to 5 extra heavy pounds of fat.
Kym Osterberg says, "Choosing fast food is not a bad thing once in a while, but to make it a part of your steady diet day in and day out is hard on your heart."
And if your heart would give out, the kids are also getting a lesson in hands only CPR.
Kym says, "They learn to call 911 right away and start CPR going hard and fast in the middle of the chest with interlocked fingers and straight arms until help arrives."
If the folks at the Avera Heart Hospital could get across one point to the kids it would be this: What you don't know could hurt you, even kill you. They hope they are empowering these kids with the knowledge they need to stay heart healthy for the next 80 years.
Visualize the complex workings of the human heart - and the diseases that threaten it - with the interactive MEGA Heart, a heart experience you simply cannot miss!
Coming to a community near you:
April 21 Sioux Falls, SD
Avera Heart Hospital
8:30a.m. - noon
4500 W. 69th Street
April 22 Mitchell, SD
Mitchell Corn Palace
7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
612 North Main Street
April 26 Marshall, MN
3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
200 South A Street
April 27 Aberdeen, SD
10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
3315 6th Avenue Southeast
For more information call (605) 622-5232
Learn more about the MEGA Heart at the Medical Inflatables www.medicalinflatables.com