Valley woman saved by 75-year-old mother who performed CPR

PHOENIX - A Valley woman says she's alive today thanks to a class her 75-year-old mother took more than three decades ago.

Jennie and Tom Sharda are the parents of four beautiful busy girls. Their lives look perfect, but Jennie has severe heart disease.

"I had to say to myself, even though I am only 47, I have really aggressive heart disease" Jennie said.

This past summer, a trip home to Cleveland made her realize just how deadly heart disease is and how lifesaving CPR would be.

Jennie's mom Betty was there when she collapsed.

"She said, 'No I feel really dizzy!' and she went right down, and I went right with her," Betty said. "She was turning bluish green, and I knew she was in serious trouble. Thank goodness for all these cordless phones today. I went right to it and called 911... and she asked me if I knew CPR and I said, 'Yes!'"

Betty, 75, had never performed CPR until now. 

"I had taken CPR 35 years ago, but I had never performed it on anyone. I knew I had to get breath into her," she said.

Jennie's husband Tom was also freightened. "My mind went down the path of, 'I might lose my wife, and the prayer of my heart was just... I just want my wife back,'" he said.

The six minutes Betty worked on Jennie saved her life. Experts tell us only 3 percent of people who suffer major cardiac arrest survive it, and those who do had someone perform CPR right away.

Betty never imagined the class she took years ago would one day help save her own daughter.

"I see her with her husband and girls and I just get tears in my eyes," Betty said.

February is Heart Health Month. If you would like to find out more about CPR classes here in the Valley, here are a few links:

American Red Cross

CPR Savers Training

Phoenix CPR Training

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