by: Gwen Ellis
“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.”
This describes our recent HOPE worldwide Bolivia volunteers Jason and Gaby Rutkowski. They have left their family, home and jobs in Charlottesville, Virginia to spend three months teaching Cardiac Basic Life Support (BLS) to the personnel of Hospital Arco Iris (HAI) in La Paz, Bolivia. Jason is a certified American Heart Association (AHA) instructor and Gaby his wife, is a Registered Nurse and a certified AHA provider. The training and certification in BLS is one of the many dreams the HOPE team has for the entire hospital staff at HAI (about 270 employees, volunteers and interns).
Learning BLS saves lives. Only 6.4% of Cardiac Arrest victims survive because people witnessing the incident do not know CPR. HOPE worldwide Bolivia has been very fortunate to receive a donation of 24 mannequins from American Heart Association instructor’s Larry Massenberg and William Holly, and another donation of adult/pediatric mannequins from Drs Tom and Miki Darling. The American Embassy in La Paz also contributed a mannequin and educational materials. The outpouring of their generosity will provide the necessary CPR equipment to help train and practice the skills needed to save the lives of patients, friends, and loved ones. Our vision for the future is that HAI can be a training center in La Paz.
Human life is a gift. Taking a moment to learn CPR is time well spent that will never be regretted.