Teonna Harris

Teonna Harris

EXTON—Just six short days after becoming certified in Basic Life Support and CPR, Teonna Harris, a dental assisting student from Parkesburg, had to put those skills to use in her own home.

On Nov. 4, Sean and Seta MacCrory, owners of Heart of Gold CPR, trained 12 dental assisting students at Contemporary Health Career Institute in Exton, in Healthcare Provider Basic Life Support and Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). CPR is a combination of techniques, including chest compressions, designed to pump the heart to get blood circulating and deliver oxygen to the brain until definitive treatment can stimulate the heart to start working again.

Students of the 10-week program learned the skills needed to perform this lifesaving technique during their dental assistant training.

Harris, 18, worked extra hours at her current job in food service to pay for the dental assisting tuition. Knowing the CPR training was important for her to secure a position as a dental assistant and also knowing that finances were tight, Admissions Coordinator Vikki Edmond, reached out the MacCrory's about discounting the training to lend a helping hand.

Without hesitation, Seta MacCrory, a registered dental hygienist and owner of Substitooth Fairy Staffing Agency, offered to provide the certification to Harris at no charge.

On Saturday, Nov. 10, just hours before graduation, Harris’ grandmother went into cardiac arrest in their family home. Without hesitation, she began performing chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing. Those same skills she learned days before, allowed her to save her grandmother, who is now recovering in a local hospital.

“Had it not been for the generosity of this local training provider, the outcome could have been tragic for this local family,” said Sean MacCrory.

CPR can be life-saving first aid and increases the person’s chances of survival if started soon after the heart has stopped beating. If no CPR is performed, it only takes three to four minutes for the person to become brain dead due to a lack of oxygen. Harris said she is glad she learned the new skills.

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