b"CARES 2022 Annual Report Why CARES Matters: A Story of Survival from OHCA By Shawn Sima, Impact Director at Who We Play For, Father of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivor, CPR Advocate It as an absolute honor for our family to be selected to share our story in this years CARES Annual Report. My name is Shawn Sima and I am the father of Lexi Ernst, a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survivor. Yes, my daughter is a 10 percenter - Lexi is one of the lucky 10% who survive their arrest. At the time, she was a 16-year-old athlete and cheerleader living in Viera, Florida. Lexi was the epitome of health and was popular with her classmates and friends at Viera High School. As a family, we had spent over 20 years in the United States Air Force, moving from base to base every few years. In 2012, we decided to retire from the Air Force, settle down as a family, and establish roots. Little did I know that this decision would lead to my daughter's life being saved.On the night of February 2, 2016, Lexi left her high school softball game and decided to go for a run at the local gym before her cheerleading tryouts the next day. At 7:57pm, I got the worst text a parent can ever receive from a friend GET HERE NOW, THIS SEEMS BAD. Within seconds of starting her run, Lexi had gone into cardiac arrest and collapsed. Thankfully, several bystanders were in the gym that night, including Jack Rhodes, a retired Air Force Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, who had recently taken a CPR/AED course. Fellow bystanders Bill Sick, John Lynch, and Amanda Miller offered their help and the group performed CPR and shocked Lexi with an automated external defibrillator (AED), bringing her back to life. There is no doubt in my mind that Lexi would not have survived that night without bystander CPR and defibrillation, as EMS arrived on scene more than 12 minutes later.As we waited through the following 72 hours while Lexi was in a medically induced coma, I did my research. As a healthcare provider who has performed thousands of pediatric physicals, my knowledge of SCA was admittedly limited. I had no clue how prolific a killer cardiac arrest was. For three days, we wondered if our girl would wake up and if she did, what her life would look like. Needless to say, I prayed often that she would be saved and returned to us whole. We felt completely helpless. Thankfully, after three days, Lexi woke up. She received an implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD) during her hospital stay and was eventually released home. We immediately knew that our family wanted to pay it forward, as we wanted to make sure that no other parent would have to go through losing their child. We researched avenues for contribution, found that Florida was lacking in SCA awareness compared to other states, and decided to take action. Paying It ForwardIn July, I sent my first letter to the Brevard County Florida School Board, not realizing that one letter would open the door to making changes in our state and the country. In recent years, we have achieved significant progress in promoting and improving emergency response measures in our town and across Florida. This began in November 2017, when the Brevard County School District passed a policy requiring CPR and AED training as a graduation requirement. This was followed by the passage of Florida Law HB 7055 in early 2018, which encouraged CPR training for all students beginning in 6th grade and every two years thereafter. Later that year, we also played a key role in passing U.S. House Resolution 35, a national resolution that encourages public schools with AEDs to train personnel on their use during the time allocated for emergency first aid and CPR training.8"